At Liberty Podcast
At Liberty Podcast

A Not So Happy Meal: McDonald's Can't Fix America's Race Problem

August 26, 2020

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The golden arches. The happy meal. These are phrases that immediately mean something to most Americans. In fact, with more than 36,000 restaurants in 100 countries, McDonald’s may well be one of the most recognizable brands in the world. But today, we’re focusing on a much lesser known side of the fast food giant, looking at McDonald’s role in Black America.

Joining us to talk about how the struggle for civil rights and the expansion of the fast-food industry have shaped each other is Dr. Marcia Chatelain, a professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown University and the author of Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America and Fran Marion, McDonald’s franchise worker and organizer with Fight for 15.

A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Starting on September 15th, we’re launching a special 2020 voting series called At the Polls. This will be in addition to our normal At Liberty episodes. Each week, we’re answering a new question about voting rights in the lead up to the presidential election. If you have a question you’d like us to answer, call us and leave a message at 212-549-2558. Or, email us We look forward to hearing from you.

This episode, A Not So Happy Meal: McDonald's Can't Fix America's Race Problem, covers the following issues we work on –