Life Goes On with Chris Burke

Chioma Uzoigwe wrote this article.

Old stereotypes die hard. These four simple words reflect one of the truest aspects of human nature. It is difficult to erase in peoples’ minds characteristics that are socially proven, per se, to be true of a particular group of individuals. It is even more difficult for people to rid themselves of such ideas when they do not belong to the group they stereotype. Public perception changers, however, have the power to reverse common incorrect views. This paper will show that to be a successful public perception changer an individual must overcome adversity to prove himself as exceptional within the stereotyped group to which he belongs. This paper will additionally show that the power of a public perception changer lies even more greatly in his ability to supercede what mainstream society can do. One such public perception changer is Chris Burke, the star of the hit television show “Life Goes On” (1989-1993). In his lifetime, Chris changed the way the world viewed people with disabilities and broke ground as the first successful actor with Down syndrome to appear in a television series.

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