This was the initial image of African Americans in television, which reached mainstreams Caucasian America and was the foundation for which future stereotypes were created. A new image of African American families was presented in the eighty’s with the Cosby Show. The Huxtable’s were a successful African American family with a life similar to the accepted and established Caucasian mainstream. This show was not accepted fully because it failed to represent the full cultural scope of African Americans. The current... ... middle of paper ... ...After giving the presentation there were many different views coming from the audience which were not expected.
Since the 1960s, there have been multiple social changes impacted African Americans. I was interested in how these changes reflected how the minority was casted on television. For many white Americans, television has been the only insight of African American people. Because of this, their judgments of African Americans can be affected by television as much as television is affected by social movements. If the American population is to continue growing towards racial equality, we must understand how television impacts our judgment.
The movies were consistent in reminding the minority blacks that there is now way out. Why not focus on the positive history of black people? Throughout American history there were many innovative African-Americans who shaped the country for the better, such as Garret Morgan who reinvented the patented traffic lights we abide by today. Many people don’t know of these investors because they weren’t widely acknowledged throughout the media.“You would think in 2016 Hollywood would have evolved from such reductive narratives about
The roles that the two black men played are the typical roles that blacks play in television networks. The shows portraying blacks as having low self-esteem became very popular among whites and some blacks. The Amos ‘n Andy Show was taken off air after being protested by blacks including the NAACP (Poussaint 1). The Amos ‘n Andy Show Godfrey 2 had a profound effect on blacks. From that point on, blacks believed that in order to be successful in the television network they had to portray themselves as being idiotic and lazy.
Black actresses, actors, directors, producers, and writers have been fighting for recognition and respect since the great Paul Robeson. The civil rights movement of the 1950's and 60's was fueled by black cinema through films like A Raisin in the Sun. Progressions in the industry were hindered by blaxploitation films such as Shaft, but these too were overcome with the 1970's movies like Song. The true creativity and experiences of African Americans started to be shown in the 1980's with directors like Robert Townsend and Spike Lee. These directors helped enable black cinema to expand in the 90's with the creation of works ranging in brutal but honest portrayal of urban life to that of comedy.
It showed an African-American upper-middle class family with the father of the show, Cliff Huxtable, as a doctor and the mother, Clair Huxtable, as a lawyer. The network, NBC finally ordered only six episodes of the show, but soon that changed as The Cosby Show outdid every regular show on television at the time. The Cosby Show reformed the perceptions of African Americans on television and paved the way for other African American based sitcoms. African Americans were often portrayed as maids, butlers, custodians and clowns on television until The Cosby Show was introduced to television. As a result of The Cosby Show breaking barriers for Blacks, the negative views of Blacks were altered.
Even though some of the movies reflected poorly of black culture, white people began to embrace their culture more. Most white people during the 1970s were not fond of African Americans, and introducing whites to this type of cinema entertained them and to slowly accept them. Early 1970s, was the highpoint for this type of cinema. Important movies that came out during this time were Cotton Comes to Harlem (Ossie Davis, 1970) and Sweet Sweetback's Badaaass Song (Melvin Van Peebles, 1971). Cotton Comes to Harlem sprang the African American movie industry to a popular level, and became the inspiration for many black films yet to come.
Before the Civil War, blacks suffered oppression: slaves to the white man and unable to prosper as individuals. However as Marilyn Kern-Foxworth, author of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, explains, “After the Civil War blacks existed free to begin their own communities… and become members of the buying public” (29). With the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery, and with the 14th Amendment, which established equal protection under the law for African Americans, the black community slowly saw improvements, including economic prosperity. However, even then, they confronted discrimination and humiliation. For instance, many “advertisers created campaigns [using] blacks in their advertisements but in demeaning postures that appealed to the white majority” not African Americans (29).
Portrayal of African Americans on television is frequently a controversial topic. Throughout its rather brief history, television, in its programming, has skewed predominantly white, (Pringozy, 2007). This was clearer in the 1950s and early 1960s, and it even remained true throughout the 1970s, when television shows with mainly all African American casts became hits, (Strausbaugh, 2006). The success of The Cosby Show in the 1980s helped to improve race relations somewhat, or at least on television, (McNeil, 1996). Still, controversy continued, and still does to this day, as to which shows present negative stereotypes of African Americans and which ones do not, (Strausbaugh, 2006).
While classic Black stereotypes originated during this period, they have carried on past the stage onto the small screen today. Television is a complex site of power where African Americans themselves have enacted these aforementioned stereotypes, particularly in the situation comedy genre. African Americans have enacted these stereotypes over the years because they have traditionally had little control over programming decisions in the television industry and these were the only roles created for them. With the rise of reality television programming in the late 1990s and early 2000s, these reality shows have also incorporated old, stereotypical representations of African Americans. A recent example is the reality show Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta.