The O.J. Syllabus

By Thomas P. Oates, Guest Contributor I frequently teach about OJ Simpson’s public career. In fact, I have probably assigned Leola Johnson and David Roediger’s classic essay “Hertz, Don’t It: Becoming Colorless and Staying Black in the Crossover of O.J. Simpson” more often than any other reading. The authors interrogate Simpson’s purported “colorlessness,” arguing that…

O.J. Simpson, Ex-Colored Man

By Brandon R. Byrd, Guest Contributor What would it mean to live beyond the color line? To live unencumbered by race; by blackness? Black novelists have tackled these questions time and time again. Passing. Colorism. Tragic mulattoes. These are common tropes in black literature since the nineteenth-century. The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man epitomizes this…

“The Fifth Quarter”: A Review of O.J. Made in America, Part Five

As part of ESPN’s 30 for 30, O.J.: Made in America examines O.J. Simpson’s movement through the American cultural, political, and social landscape of the past five decades. The five-segment documentary explores the significance of race, gender, celebrity, and violence in Simpson’s football career and later criminal trial. The Sport in American History blog will be reviewing all…