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His Light Still Shines: Corporate Advertisers and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

West, E James; (2021) His Light Still Shines: Corporate Advertisers and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. Advertising & Society Quarterly , 22 (1) 10.1353/asr.2021.0019. Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines a sample of 91 commemorative adverts published in Black consumer magazines Black Enterprise and Ebony between 1981 and 1991 to explore how corporate advertisers responded to the creation of a federal holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in November 1983, and first officially celebrated in January 1986, the King holiday provided advertisers with an opportunity to honor King and celebrate his historical significance; something which fed into broader efforts by North American corporations to showcase their understanding and appreciation of Black history and, by extension, the Black consumer market. However, the multivalent tone of these commemorative features can be situated within ongoing and hotly contested debates over the meaning of King's activism and legacy, revealing the complex relationship between corporate social responsibility, Black history, commemorative advertising, and political messaging.

Type: Article
Title: His Light Still Shines: Corporate Advertisers and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1353/asr.2021.0019
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1353/asr.2021.0019
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Arts and Sciences (BASc)
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10166063
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