“The Miracle of the Golden Arches: Race and Fast Food in Los Angeles” examines the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and its advocacy on behalf of the city’s black McDonald’s franchisees. The franchisees believed that McDonald’s limited their ability to franchise restaurants outside of predominately black neighborhoods. Analyzing the rhetoric surrounding these disputes, the article argues that despite their economic prosperity as a group, African American McDonald’s franchisees often found themselves in an uneasy position as models of racial progress and victims of racial discrimination. The article covers the period between two urban uprisings—the aftermath of Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968 and the days after police officers were acquitted of beating Rodney King in 1992—to expose the relationship between McDonald’s and black consumers in moments of economic, social, and racial crisis.

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