Black, White, and in Color: Television and Black Civil Rights

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Princeton University Press, 2003 - Performing Arts - 140 pages
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This book examines the representation of blackness on television at the height of the southern civil rights movement and again in the aftermath of the Reagan-Bush years. In the process, it looks carefully at how television's ideological projects with respect to race have supported or conflicted with the industry's incentive to maximize profits or consolidate power.

Sasha Torres examines the complex relations between the television industry and the civil rights movement as a knot of overlapping interests. She argues that television coverage of the civil rights movement during 1955-1965 encouraged viewers to identify with black protestors and against white police, including such infamous villains as Birmingham's Bull Connor and Selma's Jim Clark. Torres then argues that television of the 1990s encouraged viewers to identify with police against putatively criminal blacks, even in its dramatizations of police brutality.

Torres's pioneering analysis makes distinctive contributions to its fields. It challenges television scholars to consider the historical centrality of race to the constitution of the medium's genres, visual conventions, and industrial structures. And it displaces the analytical focus on stereotypes that has hamstrung assessments of television's depiction of African Americans, concentrating instead on the ways in which African Americans and their political collectives have actively shaped that depiction to advance civil rights causes. This book also challenges African American studies to pay closer and better attention to television's ongoing role in the organization and disorganization of U.S. racial politics.

 

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Contents

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Page 1 - Barlow (1990) suggest that the dominant trend in African American portraiture has been created and nurtured by succeeding generations of White image makers, beginning as far back as the colonial era. Its opposite has been created and maintained by Black image makers in response to the omissions and distortions of the former.
Page 4 - King at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta.
Page 2 - n Andy — I don't care what people say today. For the colored people, the day they took Amos 'n'Andy off the air was one of the saddest days in Piedmont, about as sad as the day of the last mill pic-a-nic. What was special to us about Amos 'n Andy was that their world was all colored, just like ours. Of course, they had their colored judges and lawyers and doctors and nurses, which we could only dream about having, or becoming — and we did dream about those things.

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The Flip Wilson Show
Meghan Sutherland
No preview available - 2008
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