Watching While Black Centering the Television of Black Audiences

ISBN-10: 0813553865

ISBN-13: 9780813553863

Edition: 2012

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Television scholarship has substantially ignored programming aimed at Black audiences despite a few sweeping histories and critiques. In this volume, the first of its kind, contributors examine the televisual diversity, complexity, and cultural imperatives manifest in programming directed at a Black and marginalized audience.           Watching While Blackconsiders its subject from an entirely new angle in an attempt to understand the lives, motivations, distinctions, kindred lines, and individuality of various Black groups and suggest what television might be like if such diversity permeated beyond specialized enclaves. It looks at the macro structures of ownership, producing, casting, and advertising that all inform production, and then delves into television programming crafted to appeal to black audiences—historic and contemporary, domestic and worldwide.Chapters rethink such historically significant programs asRootsandBlack Journal, such seemingly innocuous programs asFat Albertandbro’Town, and such contemporary and culturally complicated programs asNoah’s Arc,Treme, andThe Boondocks. The book makes a case for the centrality of these programs while always recognizing the racial dynamics that continue to shape Black representation on the small screen.  Painting a decidedly introspective portrait across forty years of Black television,Watching While Blacksheds much-needed light on under-examined demographics, broadens common audience considerations, and gives deference to the the preferences of audiences and producers of Black-targeted programming.           
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Book details

Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 1/10/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.924
Language: English

Beretta E. Smith-Shomade is Assistant Professor of Media Arts at the University of Arizona. She also works as a video documentary producer. She is author of Shaded Lives: African American Women and Television.

Introduction: I See Black People
Producing Blackness
The Importance of Roots
Two Different Worlds: Television as a Producer's Medium
A Black Cast Doesn't Make a Black Show: City of Angels and the Plausible Deniability of Color-blindness
Blacks in the Future: Braving the Frontier of the Web Series
Blackness on Demand
"Regular Television Put to Shame by Negro Production": Picturing a Black World on Black Journal
"Hey, Hey, Hey!" Bill Cosby's Fat Albert as Psychodynamic Postmodern Play
Gimme a Break! and the Limits of the Modem Mammy
Down in the Treme… Buck Jumping and Having Fun?: The Impact of Depictions of Post-Katrina New Orleans on Viewers' Perceptions of the City
New Jack Black
Keepin' It Reality Television
Prioritized: The Hip Hop (Re)Construction of Black Womanhood in Girlfriends and The Game
Nigger, Coon, Boy, Punk, Homo, Faggot, Black Man: Reconsidering Established Interpretations of Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality Through Noah's Arc
Graphic Blackness/Anime Noir: Aaron McGruder's The Boondocks and the Adult Swim
Worldwide Blackness
Resistance Televised: The TV da Gente Television Network and Brazilian Racial Politics
South African Soapies: A "Rainbow Nation" Realized?
Minority Television Trade as Cultural Journey: The Case of New Zealand's bro'Town
Notes on Contributors
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