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Changing Images of Black Americans in US Television since the 1950s.

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  • Essay length: 653 words
  • Submitted: 14/09/2012
  • Awarding body: Not known/Not applicable
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University Degree Television & Radio Studies

The first 200 words of this essay...

Running head: VISIONS OF AMERICA

Shaping the Image of Black America

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I did not think much about the topic of Black America and how it was stereotyped when I was younger and watching television shows from the past. I just accepted it as it was just the way it was back then. I remember most clearly in Shirley Temple movies the role of servants and âmammyâsâ and how their characters were the backbone of the white families that they cared for. They played important roles in their families but not valued as equals. âThese black folk could be trusted to manage white households, nurture white children, and ârestore balance and normalcy to the white household,â . . . but they could not be trusted with the social and civic responsibilities of full citizenship as equals with whitesâ (Franz & Smulyan, 2012). This concept is what carried over into the beginnings of television and was quite acceptable at that time.

âBlack characters who populated the television world of the 1950s were happy-go-lucky social incompetents who knew their place and who antics served to amuse and comfort culturally sanctioned notions of whiteness, especially white

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