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. Stereotypes such as this have been continuously developing in the television network even today. The modernized images played by blacks are drunks, thugs, thieves, gangsters, and other characters that are inferior to whites. By creating these images of blacks, it has caused both blacks and whites to see African Americans as being ignorant and believing that is the only way that they should act. Television networks depict whites as the typical families with no problems, and blacks as the single parents with a long list of problems.
However, a pattern became evident, a pattern of type casting African Americans in roles which did not accurately and wholly portray the individual. A misrepresentation of African Americans became the common image on television. Variety shows initially promoted the new media as an opportunity for equal representation and communication between the races. However, a trend developed with African Americans often being “portrayed as custodians, maids, servants, clowns, or buffoons” (Crenshaw). The negative image, which was developed by these stereotypes, was perpetuated in the Amos and Andy Show.
Many African Americans believed that in order to be successful in the media industry they had to portray themselves as being idiotic and lazy. African Americans are mainly portrayed in the media as a pleasing aspect. Rather than focusing on the positive and good side to African Americans, the media would rather on the negatives. One of the main reasons why it is so easy to target an African American is because; it is so much harder to point the finger at a more dominant power ethnic group, Caucasians. I think this alone tells us a lot about where our society is and that racism still does exist.
It is important that news media are challenged to be fair and accurate. Therefore, racial bias contribute to racist policies, inhuman treatment and indifferent, and murderous attitude that so many black people and other people of color will find themselves as victims. Also, “The Cosby Show” exemplifies that not all black families are poor and uneducated. Although television seems to be more realistic than the shows of the past, we still have a long way to go. It is time for the media stop hanging on to what have been proven to be untrue and outdated stereotypes.
Powerful Stereotypes in Invisble Man Ellison creates many stereotypes of African Americans of his time. He uses this to bring less informed readers to understand certain characters motives, thoughts, and reasoning. By using each personality of an African American in extremes, Ellison adds passion to the novel, a passion that would not be there if he would let individualism into his characters. Individualism, or lack there of is also significant to the novel. It supports his view of an anti-racial America, because by using stereotypes he makes his characters racial these are the characters that the Americans misunderstand and abominate.
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.
Any black person perceived to be stepping away from the image carved out by the media is labeled as less than black. Meanwhile, any black person who lives his or her life in a similar fashion to the way the media suggests is supposedly reinforcing negative stereotypes. The constant scrutiny by one’s own peers and others outside of the race has put African Americans in a very odd position. Literature Review In Dr. Patricia Hopskins’ article, “Deconstructing Good Times and The Cosby Show: In Search of My “Authentic” Black Experience”, Hopskins examines what the true black experience in America should look like. She takes two very popular television shows, their ratings, and their critics, and she attempts to see which is most the authentic black lifestyle.
Many people in America like to think that racial stereotyping and racism is a thing of the past, but racial stereotyping is still prominent in America. Although racial stereotyping and racism significantly slowed down, it still remains a major factor in American society. In “The End of Post-Identity Television,” Aymar Jean Christian argues the fact that race is not a major factor in casting characters in a television series or a movie, he reveals that race is not relevant anymore. In Michael Omi’s “In Living Color: Race and American Culture,” he argues how racial stereotyping and racism still exist in America. The Cosby Show seeked to change racial stereotyping in television by portraying an upper-middle class African American family.
Racism and discrimination continue to be a prevalent problem in American society. Although minorities have made significant strides toward autonomy and equality, the images in media, specifically television, continue to misrepresent and manipulate the public opinion of blacks. It is no longer a blatant practice upheld by the law and celebrated with hangings and beatings, but instead it is a subtle practice that is perceived in the entertainment and media industries. Whether it’s appearing in disparaging roles or being negatively portrayed in newscasts, blacks continue to be the victims of an industry that relies on old ideas to appeal to the majority. The viscous cycle that is the unconscious racism of the media continues to not only be detrimental to the white consumers, who base what they know about blacks by what is represented in television, but also the black consumers, who grow up with a false sense of identity.
External racism is outside of the black community, which is how society looks at African Americans. White’s views on blacks shape the negative stereotypes that some blacks have adapted into their culture while some try to exclude themselves from the following stereotypes: drug dealers, criminals, dumb, ignorant, poor, athletic, religious, and musically gifted. Non-African Americans that choose to listen to African American stereotypes are pretty much saying that they only need to meet one African American to know what all the others are like. This is a big problem for African Americans that don’t even meet the criteria of those said stereotypes. All African Americans are judged one way.