Blacks on TV
1970s-2000. Discusses stereotyping, economic pressures, sitcoms.
For much of television’s early years, the America reflected on the screen was a nation of white faces, with only a few black faces, usually in menial occupations such as janitor, elevator operator, and so on. A look at the range of black roles on television today shows that much has changed and that the America reflected on screen today is more like the real America, with blacks and whites in all walks of life. Some of the changes have been seen as good, and others have been seen as not so good. Even the good changes have been seen as existing within a relatively narrow spectrum that still sets blacks apart on television, relegating them to specific programming niches and even behaviors and not reflecting the life of most blacks in America. The issue has been raised recently by critics who see fewer black roles on network television each year, and they are..