Blacks And Tv Essay, Research Paper
Have u ever thought about African Americans invalid with television? If not in this report you will
learn about how African Americans have influenced television. You will learn about television
shows that have effected television and also just certain people that have effected television also.
Commercial television was born in 1948 as each of the three major networks, ABC, CBS,
and NBC, began broadcasting. 1948 was also a great year in African American history with the
desegregation of the United States armed forces to see Blacks in the American Military and an
endorsement of civil rights in the presidential platform of the Democratic Party headed by
President Harry S. Truman. (http://www.africana.com/tt_178.htm)
As television news shows began to report seriously on racism and the fight for civil rights
television’s entertainment programs became even more white. Since its birth, the medium had
avoided controversy. During the 1960s, as protests rose against both racism and the Vietnam War
programming became less and less realistic. For example, some of the most popular shows on
television at that time were Witches, Genies, and other Escapist Fantasy. As the cultural critic J.
Fred McDonald pointed out, comedies such as Petticoat Junction and The Andy Griffith Show
both set in the South portrayed all-white worlds in which prejudice did not exist.
In 1965-a movie that came out starred Bill Cosby and Robert Culp both African
Americans. The name of it was I Spy. The movie was directed to race mostly. By the late 1960s
television began to come out from its fantasy world to present programming more in touch with
the reality of the present times. The first comedy series to deal with race was All in the Family a
show with a mostly white cast. At its head was Archie Bunker a racist. While some felt that
Archie’s use of racial slurs amounted to prejudice most saw the series as an important move
toward realism particularly in terms of race relations on television.The Bunkers’ next door
neighbors were a black family whose characters were later featured in a popular spin-off series.
The Jefferson?s which aired from 1975 to 1985.
Then in the late 90?s the TV World came out with a whole new channel BET. Black
Entertainment Television, this was to make African Americans more noticed around the world.By
the late 1990s more African Americans than ever were involved in the television industry, some in
executive and production roles. But there were still no prime-time dramatic series devoted to
telling the stories of black Americans, and many of the images seen by black children who are
estimated to watch television at a rate 64 percent higher than the national average.
Black programming was big now because it appealed not only to the black audience but
also to whites especially white youth. Michael Jordan and other basketball stars became some of
corporate America’s favorite spokespersons, and white teenagers took their fashion and language
from them. The success of African Americans Arsenio Hall and Oprah Winfrey in late-night and
daytime talk shows led to dozens of imitators both black and white. In addition Winfrey produced
and acted in The Women of Brewster it was based on Gloria Naylor’s novel.
In this report you have learned just a few of people and shows that have influenced the
television. I think that I covered just about all the basic points to the topic. If I were to put every
person and every show and movie that have influenced the TV industry I counldnt say enough