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In “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man,” Henry Louis Gates writes, that many black Americans think that “the soft drink Tropical Fantasy is manufactured by the Ku Klux Klan and contains a special ingredient designed to sterilize black men.” He then demolishes this and other conspiracy theories while recalling America’s troubled racial history, and its hope of overcoming it. When his arrest and reconciliation rekindled that history, we thought of these 1970s ads, however contemporaneously clumsy, which represented corporate America’s first broad attempts at dialogue with Afro-America.

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