Starring Mandela and Cosby: Media and the End(s) of Apartheid

Starring Mandela and Cosby: Media and the End(s) of Apartheid

by Ron Krabill
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0226451887

ISBN-13: 9780226451886

Pub. Date: 09/15/2010

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

During the worst years of apartheid, the most popular show on television in South Africa—among both Black and White South Africans—was The Cosby Show. Why did people living under a system built on the idea that Black people were inferior and threatening flock to a show that portrayed African Americans as comfortably mainstream? Starring

Overview

During the worst years of apartheid, the most popular show on television in South Africa—among both Black and White South Africans—was The Cosby Show. Why did people living under a system built on the idea that Black people were inferior and threatening flock to a show that portrayed African Americans as comfortably mainstream? Starring Mandela and Cosby takes up this paradox, revealing the surprising impact of television on racial politics.

The South African government maintained a ban on television until 1976, and according to Ron Krabill, they were right to be wary of its potential power. The medium, he contends, created a shared space for communication in a deeply divided nation that seemed destined for civil war along racial lines. At a time when it was illegal to publish images of Nelson Mandela, Bill Cosby became the most recognizable Black man in the country, and, Krabill argues, his presence in the living rooms of white South Africans helped lay the groundwork for Mandela’s release and ascension to power.

Weaving together South Africa’s political history and a social history of television, Krabill challenges conventional understandings of globalization, offering up new insights into the relationship between politics and the media.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226451886
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
09/15/2010
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

INTRODUCTION / Media, Democratization, and the End(s) of Apartheid

ONE / Structured Absences and Communicative Spaces

TWO / In the Absence of Television

THREE / “They Stayed ’til the Flag Streamed”

FOUR / Surfing into Zulu

FIVE / Living with the Huxtables in a State of Emergency

SIX / I May Not Be a Freedom Fighter, but I Play One on TV

CONCLUSION / Television and the Afterlife of Apartheid

Postscript

Notes

Index

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >