Fade to Black and White: Interracial Images in Popular Culture

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There is no teasing apart what interracial couples think of themselves from what society shows them about themselves. Following on her earlier ground-breaking study of the social worlds of interracial couples, Erica Chito Childs considers the larger context of social messages, conveyed by the media, that inform how we think about love across the color line. Examining a range of media, from movies to music to the web, Fade to Black and White offers an informative and provocative account of how the perception of interracial sexuality as 'deviant' has been transformed in the course of the 20th century and how race relations are understood today.

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Editorial Reviews

William Julius Wilson
Erica Chito Childs' careful research and creative insights are clearly displayed in this engaging and interesting book. Fade to Black and White is an original study that convincingly shows how the depictions of interracial sex and marriage in popular culture and media reflect contemporary attitudes about race and sex in the United States. This book is a significant contribution to the study of American race relations.
Clara Rodriguez
Excellent and novel integration of a wide range of contemporary readings, films, television programs, news coverage and youth-oriented media's coverage of inter-racial relationships. It moves the discourse on the increasingly important area of inter-racial relationships to another plane, opening readers' eyes to subtle, but persisting framing patterns that both reflect and influence our views of inter-racial relationships.
April 2010 CHOICE
Childs does not explore the "half full" argument that media representations of a color-blind U.S., though not factual or realistic, are aspirational and index a progressive rollback of the most virulent forms of public racism in the U.S. Instead, she confronts the undeniable and unacceptable fact that racism remains powerful in popular culture. Recommended.
Darnell Hunt
Fade to Black and White shows, first and foremost, how the racial exception can be used to prove the racial rule. Erica Chito Childs presents a provocative analysis of popular television shows, movies, and news in order to better understand the ideological work performed by the relatively rare interracial images that circulate in American popular culture. What she finds charts new ground in our understanding of an early 21st century conundrum—how it is that whiteness continues to be celebrated in what are supposedly colorblind times.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742560802
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/16/2009
  • Series: Perspectives on a Multiracial America Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Erica Chito Childs is associate professor of sociology at Hunter College, City University of New York. She is the author of Navigating Interracial Borders: Black-White Couples and their Social Worlds.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Fade to Black and White
Chapter 1. Historical Realities and Media Representations of Race and Sexuality
Chapter 2. The Prime-Time Color-Line: Interracial Couples and Television
Chapter 3. It's a (White) Man's World
Chapter 4. When Good Girls Go Bad
Chapter 5. Playing the Color-Blind Card: Seeing Black and White in News Media
Chapter 6. Multiracial Utopias: Youth, Sports and Music

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