Blacks And Tv


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. (

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

about it*

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