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Abstract

The raised fists photo from West Point that proliferated quickly across the internet and in mainstream media made a group that may have been regarded as invisible “hypervisble” to the American public. The raised fists photo cast 16 African American female cadets into the public eye and led to multiple responses across a spectrum that varied from staunch disapproval to celebratory acceptance. A historical and critical examination of this case offers greater insight into the ways racism manifests in public discourse. The events that took place in the aftermath of the raised fists photo highlight the prevalence of systemic and color-blind racism in today’s society and offer an opportunity to examine the case’s implications within the higher education community.

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