This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Racism In Media 1950s Essay

665 words - 3 pages

ABC’s 1950’s sitcom, The Beulah Show, was the first television program to star an African American actress. Although this was, obviously, a historically groundbreaking sitcom, the plot did an injustice to blacks by portraying black characters as inferior to whites in almost every way (unless it be the ability to perform housework). One would only need to watch the first 5 minutes of an episode of the sitcom to see the racial inequalities at play. Would this sitcom have been written, or aired, Post-Civil Right Era? It is hard to imagine that.
Other than the obvious differences between Beulah, Bill, and Oriole, Alice and Harry -- such as clothing, occupation, and wealth, there are other social differences portrayed in the episode, as well. Lets examine the scene in which Beulah is sitting at the table with Bill, and she tells him about a, “ thing called ‘the economy’”. By referring to the economy as ...view middle of the document...

As the scene in which Beulah and Bill were discussing the economy at the table ends, Bill is offered a plate by Beulah, but refuses to take the plate, and eats quickly from his hands as he walks away. This sends a message that blacks are without the manners that white families so devoutly practice in their home.
In the episode, Harry, Alice, and even little Doddie have important, fun things to do, whereas Beulah’s only obligation is to serve the family, who even go as far as asking her to take on their responsibilities in the garden. Although Beulah is an employee of the family, doing the gardening is outside of her responsibilities, and should not have been so promptly, if at all, assigned to her. This display of relying on Beulah to pick up the family’s slack shows that it’s eventually up to “the help” to do all the work. When Beulah asks for the help of Oriole to tell her if the bushes look even, Oriole makes a comment that women will, sometime soon, “have the suffrage”, showing that she had no idea that the suffrage did, in fact, begin in the late 19th century. This is the second example of how blacks are shown as uneducated in only seven minutes.
In this episode, the three black roles were a domestic worker, an uneducated, lazy man who doesn’t stick around long enough to do anything besides eat, and an idiotic friend who failed to say anything meaningful throughout her whole scene. The only positive, black contributor in the episode was Beulah, who only contributed positively by, “being wonderful”, which meant by serving the family that she is hired by. Comparing the way that black characters walk, talk, dress, and act, overall, to the white characters, it is easy to see the show’s underlying message: that blacks can only be trusted with very menial tasks, and, even then, there may be error. The show was, in-fact, a huge step for African Americans, when it comes to major rolls in the media. It is, however, a shame that the script was not better written. The producers of this show sent an offensive stereotype of blacks -- a stereotype that would become a trend in the media.

Other Papers Like Racism in Media 1950s

Music Types: Rock and Roll Essay

596 words - 3 pages Even if Rock and Roll is not your favorite type of music, it is one of the--if not, the--biggest phenomenon since its birth in the 1950s. Along with it being particularly popular among teens, rock and roll has a bad reputation, and that is all part of the attraction. It has constantly been under public scrutiny for promoting sex, drugs and violence. Rock has become synonymous with rebellious conduct in the minds of parents. Among them are

1950s Essay

1099 words - 5 pages Todd Smith Professor Terry Ruud English 1201 April 24, 2014 The 1950s: Good or Bad? There are those who think of the 1950s as an era to be remembered, and there are others who think of it as an era to be forgotten. There are people who remember the 50s fondly, as an era we should emulate. Then there are others who think the era should not be forgotten [if only to remember the inequalities and injustices better left in the past


843 words - 4 pages to make way following World War II in an attempt to become experts in this area and stay invested in areas that would provide strategic benefits. Private organizations that promoted “area studies” increased until the late 1950s, then federal funding was approved. While studies on the non-West were rising into the 1960s in America and Britain, most work stayed true to the belief that the only way to become modern is to follow their ways and there

The Evolution Of Mass Media

352 words - 2 pages , the radius of hiding his source to reach the various masses of people. During these times it was people that often tuned in to the radio to get. Information regards to retail stores and especially on accounts of the current war at hand. It was in the 1950s that a new so-called television became the main source of resources for mass media. The television was a culmination of the radio and newspaper and people embraced it. And in 1962 the launch

The Bluest Eye

535 words - 3 pages racist. My next author is Kim Crosby. Crosby thinks that racism is surrounding us even today. She gave examples of how famous African American superstars are judged. “All of us, we are affected deeply by everything around us in the media to the underrepresentation of others.” If you’re successful it shouldn’t matter the color of your skin. This is LeAnne Coady on racism. I like Coady’s beliefs because she says we are all equal. “We have been

A Raisin in the Sun

1108 words - 5 pages A Raisin in the Sun By: Daniel Alejandro Mendivil Ahuatzin 4th hour Racism is a major issue that has affected the United States since its discovery. Racism is the hatred by a person of one race pointed at a person of another race. The United States has grown up to improve as a whole but this process is a long way away from completion. Some citizens still believe that African-Americans are inferior to Caucasians and that they should be

Turning the Tables: an Argument for the Majority

622 words - 3 pages receive the same advantages white children did and do, respectively. Segregation in schools and, well, everywhere causes a sense of inequality to black Americans, in this case, and every other minority group, including women, and homosexuals. Lawrence, writing as a black American law professor at Georgetown University to other minority groups, and anyone else who takes offense to racism and discrimination, offers a general law-based thought

Race & Society

2442 words - 10 pages Asians were sneaky or all Whites are evil or all Blacks are criminals, you can bet that you are going to feel this way about them. Even if we allow yourself to get to know some of them, this will always be in the back of your mind. Another suggestion as to how racism makes its way into our heads is through the almighty media. As we grow up, media becomes a factor of our lives whether or not we want it to be, and is also a major source of how

A raisin in the sun

1599 words - 7 pages Raisin in the sun” also incorporates the theme of racism that was prevalent in the society during the 1950s. Thus, Hansberry had to introduce the character of Mr. Linder. To his society where he belongs, it’s the color of the skin that makes all the differences. He is asked by his society to offer the Youngers with money so that don’t move. But the pride and strength together within the Youngers helped them stand against such racial

Evaluating Contemp. Society on the Internet

1073 words - 5 pages Is our contemporary society’s engagement with the Internet a positive thing that simply encourages enhanced understanding, or does it entrench us further into a virtual world where racism can go unchecked and continue to be an ongoing problem in Australia? Compare and contrast the use of this technology in Australia. Your response must use at least two examples from your everyday life and one from the textbook to support your position

Rasicm in the Media

2149 words - 9 pages aroused the troubling suspicion that whatever else the true American is, he is also somehow black. 2 Racism Before attempting to understand racism and mass media, one must understand the history of racism. Race has become an institutional part of American society. From the Founding on, race has played an integral part in shaping the American consciousness. David Goldberg's Racist Culture argues that racial discourse may be interpreted as

Related Essays

Civil Rights Movement: Didn't Change The Attitudes Of Many White Americans

669 words - 3 pages on buses did not cover interstate buses, stations and waiting rooms. The Jim Crow laws limited the living standards for Black Americans as they prevented Black Americans from being able to find work. Also literacy tests made it almost impossible for black Americans to vote; as they were normally marked by white Americans. Overall, the Civil Rights movement did achieve great success in reducing segregation by the end of the 1950s.  It increased awareness of the problem of racism and protested for change.  Thanks to the protesting of the Civil Rights Movement they managed to gain the right to vote for blacks and also helped to get desegregation in schools.  

Elvis & Rock And Roll Essay

660 words - 3 pages As with any sort of art, whether it is music, media, or even painting, artists find inspiration in the people who came before them. Rock and Roll is no exception. Throughout the 1950s, rock and roll evolved from a little known genre to one that was playing on the airwaves 24/7. While a large amount of the first rock and roll artists were African American, I do not believe that saying “rock and roll is black music” is justifiable; it is akin to

Pre Reflective Xenophobia Essay

900 words - 4 pages Pre-Reflective Xenophobia Xenophobia is a fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or alien. Pre-reflective gut racism is basically xenophobia, but it is xenophobia of a group or person that you have never came in contact with. Many people, especially people from a segregated community or a community with little cultural influence from outside or someone who has not spent time with people from other social

Separate Pasts Growing Up White In The Segregated South

1203 words - 5 pages formed. During the 1950s in the small town Wade of North Carolina, everything was calm and tranquil because there were no media to broadcast the black and white community and the blacks were accepting of the standards. However, once protesters started becoming more noticed up and down the streets of Wade, and the blacks started challenging the systems against racism and segregation. The black community fell into a horrible stereotype of being