Does changing style of hair or dress help black people avoid stigma?

On the eve of the NBA Finals, superstar LeBron James found the “N-word” spray painted on his home. Not even James, with all his wealth, fame and success, is exempt from being attacked with classic racist slurs.In the United States, blackness is stamped with centuries-old images and ideas that assign it to perpetual “last place.”One way blacks have historically responded to stigma – a discredited or disgraced identity – is by displaying what they understand as mainstream values associated with white elites. This strategy, often referred to as “respectability,” is intended to put on display black people’s fitness for full cultural and social citizenship, thereby protecting them from stigma or lowering their exposure to it.We know from prior research that consumption has been an important part of this strategy since a full-fledged mass market emerged in the U.S. in the late 1800s.

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