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What 'Respectability' Means In The Fight For Social Change

Rosa Parks smiles during a ceremony where she received the Congressional Medal of Freedom in Detroit, Mich., on Nov. 28, 1999. (Paul Sancya/AP)
Rosa Parks smiles during a ceremony where she received the Congressional Medal of Freedom in Detroit, Mich., on Nov. 28, 1999. (Paul Sancya/AP)

What does it mean to be “respectable” in American life? For African-Americans, it’s especially complicated. Gene Demby (@GeeDee215)from NPR’s Code Switch team explains how the politics of respectability can be a tool for — and a weapon against — the fight for social change.

Other Stories In NPR’s ‘Civility Wars’ Series:

  • When Civility Is Used As A Cudgel Against People Of Color
  • ‘Hear Me By Any Means Necessary’: Charlottesville Is Forced To Redefine Civility
  • In These Divided Times, Is Civility Under Siege?
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    This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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