Revisiting the heyday of department stores and five-and-dimes

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Why not 'well-spoken?'

I learned something completely unknown to me in Barbara Murphy's recent commentary, "A word on the 'well-spoken'" (Sept. 2). We've now reached the point where people who are not of color can no longer use complimentary language when referring to black Americans. It took me aback to read her relate overhearing a manager where she works describing a job candidate (racial identity unknown) as "smart," "experienced," and "well-spoken." She goes on to say that "Instantly, I knew that this candidate is African-American."

She writes that "in...