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.
The image of African Americans has been greatly depreciated by the roles they play on television sitcoms. On these shows African Americans are depicted as being maids, clowns, and buffoons. This misrepresentation of African Americans has become common place through out the media. One of the most controversial sitcoms was the Amos ‘n Andy Show. This sitcom included two black comedic men and began the creation of the African American stereotypes that most people have grown accustom to today.
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. (http://www.engl.virgina.edu/~enwr1016/amc2d.html) 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.
While doing the research, I would expect to find more positive portrayals of African Americans in more recent television shows and movies. However, since racism still exists, stereotypes and negative characteristics are also to be expected. The scholarly articles I have researched came from credible sources and allowed me to draw connections between society, television, and African Americans. They brought attention to themes I may have otherwise ignored, such as stereotypes and television’s impact on society. However, only Perrin and Berry made a direct connection between social movements and the portrayal of African Americans on television.
Physical appearances were not the only aspects that were mocked by the shows, they also mocked the way African Americans spoke. Blacks in the shows were often staged to appear illiterate and their dialogue significantly contrasted with that of their fellow white castmates. Lines such as “I believe dis is de place…” or “I’s gwyne to tell you. ” (5), demonstrated the fact a stereotype that was perpetuated
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.
Rock ‘n’ Roll was thought to have changed American society because of the ways it portrayed sexual behavior and black rights, but it simply reflected the changes that were already underway . While the 1950s and 60s were a time of segregation in America. Most Americans, especially older individuals and groups found the beat and lyrics to Rock ‘n’ Roll sickening. It reminded them of a kind of African American type music. They didn’t like the fact that their children were listening to it because “Rock ‘n’ Roll was credited with and criticized for promoting integration and economic opportunity for blacks while bringing to ‘mainstream’ culture black styles and values.” While Americans began to feel that they were beginning to grow closer and closer to the ways of Afr... ... middle of paper ... ...g gap between races, or the promoted sexual behavior, they had to learn to cope with the fact that society had changed and that times were different from when they were teenagers themselves.
Society has always been influential to fads that are displaced throughout media; the public witnesses a direct mirror of themselves and current culture portrayed on movie screens, musical lyrics, and televisions scripts. During the 1990s, African-American filmmakers depicted stereotypical black youth and culture in films such as Do the Right Thing (1989) and Menace II Society (1993), otherwise known as the “hood” films. However, as much to the popularity and success of the hood films, there was great opposition to it. Historical movies like Daughters of the Dust (1991) and Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) were created to argue against hood films to portray a different African-American community that is not racialized. I am going to compare and contrast both the hood and historical films Edward Guerrero and Paula Massood both believed that the hood film was created for the benefit of portraying reality in African-American communities.
His point is that the African American culture is nonexistent, or assimilated because African American cultural values are not expressed fully in these sitcoms, thus they are a part of the assimilation process. Because these sitcoms are directed at a cross cultural audience the assumption Ibelema uses is false. The African American culture is not lost in america, its existence is found in the homes of African Americans throughout america and is passed on through mothers and fathers, and grand mothers and grand fathers. An opposing view to this argument is Elizabeth Wilson's essay "Oppositional Dress". Her belief is that sub cultures exist in the mainstream society, and they dictate their own existence.
As a result, black culture continues to play a vital role in America due to its innovative and creature nature. As hip hop culture became prevalent in pop culture, so did black culture. Hip hop stems from black struggle. Their vernacular, songs, and spiritual ways were different from what whites were used to. Their different lifestyle of “living on the edge” was intriguing yet inaccessible for the whites living among them.