Video Analysis of Color Adjustment

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Marlon T. Riggs’ video, Color Adjustment, offers the viewer an exciting trip though the history of television, focusing on the representation, or lack thereof, of African-Americans. A perfectly chosen combination of television producers, actors, sociologists, and cultural critics join forces to offer insight and professional opinion about the status of African-Americans in television since the inception of television itself. As Color Adjustment traces the history of television shows from Amos n’ Andy and Julia to "ghetto sitcoms" and The Cosby Show, the cast of television professionals and cultural critics discuss the impacts those representations have on both the African-American community and our society as a whole. Color Adjustment continually asks the question: "Are these images positive?" This video raises the viewer’s awareness about issues of positive images for African-Americans on television.

I chose this video because it raised my awareness by questioning the difference between positive role models, such as The Cosby Show, and positive images for all African-Americans. The issues discussed and comments made by the cast piqued my interest and helped change my perspective on the history of African-American representation in the media, especially in the realm of television. Color Adjustment contains more than just endless ‘talking heads’ – it has elements of fact, history, and professional opinion all blended together in an engaging format. It was extremely exciting to hear the TV producers like Hal Kanter and David Wolper talk about their own productions in retrospect. Most importantly to me, Color Adjustment changed my perspective on African-American representation in the media by challenging me to think about images...

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...writers of all races and every ethnicity could be shown this video to learn about stereotypes to avoid in their screenplays. Television and movie producers could benefit from hearing other producers such as Hal Kanter and David Wolper talk about their experiences with African-American representation in their shows.

Viewing Color Adjustment was an informative pleasure. It was a stimulating video that led me on a personal journey of enlightenment. It chronicled African-American trials in television representation and provided me with the knowledge to examine future representations in the media more carefully. This video was a great addition to this class and to me as a person. I hope that there will be a Part 3 to this series that I can show in my own classrooms one day; I also hope with continuing education Parts 3 and 4 will have more "positive" images to discuss.
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