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This paper takes a historical approach to the depictions of African-Americans in television in the five decades since the 1950s and links those images to the changing roles and perceptions of African-Americans in society. Part I discusses the various television shows from the 1950s to the 1990s that featured African-Americans and have had a societal impact. Part II analyzes the chicken/egg relationship between networks and advertisers and asks whether television, given the economic forces affecting it, can be used as a force for change. Part III explores how these television images have affected foreigners and children. Television remains "without a doubt the world's most popular leisure activity." When network television is so widely available, its status increases as an important vehicle for depicting cultural images of our population to virtually everyone in society.

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Journal of Gender, Race and Justice





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