Channeling Blackness: Studies on Television and Race in America

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Blackness has always played a central role in the American imagination. Therefore, it should not be surprising that popular television--a medium that grew up with the Civil Rights Movement--has featured blackness as both a foil and a key narrative theme throughout its sixty-year existence. Ironically, in modern "colorblind" times, we are faced with a unique turn of events--blackness is actually over-represented in television sitcoms and dramas.
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2005 Hardcover Near Fine with no dust jacket 9780195167634. Slight bumping to spine extremities.; 8vo 8"-9" tall; 320 pp; Media and African Americans.

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Overview


Blackness has always played a central role in the American imagination. Therefore, it should not be surprising that popular television--a medium that grew up with the Civil Rights Movement--has featured blackness as both a foil and a key narrative theme throughout its sixty-year existence. Ironically, in modern "colorblind" times, we are faced with a unique turn of events--blackness is actually over-represented in television sitcoms and dramas.
Channeling Blackness: Studies on Television and Race in America presents fifteen classic and contemporary studies of the shifting, complex relationship between popular television and blackness. Using a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches, these essays examine four key issues that have framed popular and scholarly inquiries into the nature of race on television:

• The black-white binary

• The power of media

• Distinguishing between "negative" and "positive" images
* The relative importance of markets versus racial motives in television

Firmly establishing popular television as a central cultural forum in our society, Channeling Blackness looks at how television has profoundly shaped and been shaped by America's ambivalent relationship with blackness. It provides numerous examples of how our current interaction with television distinguishes the lived experiences of today from those of the past. The book also shows how the entertainment function of television often masks its ideological purpose, particularly its role in reflecting and reproducing America's racial order. A useful supplement in any number of courses on race and society, Channeling Blackness is an ideal text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on race and media, media and society, television studies, television criticism, communication studies, and African American and ethnic studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195167634
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Series: Media and African Americans Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Making sense of blackness on television 1
2 The news media and the disorders : Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders 25
3 Encoding and decoding in the television discourse 46
4 Television and black consciousness 60
5 Television and the black audience : cultivating moderate perspectives on racial integration 64
6 White responses : the emergence of "enlightened" racism 74
7 Hearing Anita Hill (and viewing Bill Cosby) 89
8 A myth of assimilation : "enlightened" racism and the news 137
9 The politics of representation in network television 155
10 Ralph Farquhar's South Central and Pearl's place to play : why they failed before Moesha hit 175
11 Body and soul : physicality, disciplinarity, and the overdetermination of blackness 185
12 "Where my girls at?" : negotiating black womanhood in music videos 207
13 The spectacular consumption of "true" African American culture : "whassup" with the Budweiser guys? 225
14 "In a crisis we must have a sense of drama" : civil rights and televisual information 243
15 Black content, white control 267
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