Blacks and the Media Essay example

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Racism and discrimination continue to be a prevalent problem in American society. Although minorities have made significant strides toward autonomy and equality, the images in media, specifically television, continue to misrepresent and manipulate the public opinion of blacks. It is no longer a blatant practice upheld by the law and celebrated with hangings and beatings, but instead it is a subtle practice that is perceived in the entertainment and media industries. Whether it’s appearing in disparaging roles or being negatively portrayed in newscasts, blacks continue to be the victims of an industry that relies on old ideas to appeal to the majority. The viscous cycle that is the unconscious racism of the media continues to not only be…show more content…
In the television show The First 48, which is promoted as being an authentic form of reality television, the depiction of blacks as criminals is evident. In most cases, it is a black person who is suspected, accused and arrested for a crime; although, one might argue the show does its job to follow along with the calls received and crimes reported, the overrepresentation of blacks relative to the population numbers is evident. Ardis C. Martin, in an Academic Psychiatry Journal, writes, “People develop conceptions about the world as a result of repeated exposure to consistent and repetitive images in the media.” In watching The First 48, it is no surprise why a white consumer would come to the realization that all blacks are deviant criminals, while a black consumer would be susceptible to being a criminal because of a media that has already defined him or her by the color of his or her skin. Black Entertainment Television, which was created to empower black people in a predominantly white media, has strayed away from its roots and marketed its programming to mimic and compete with other stations for ratings. As a television station that once had a variety of journalism programs and shows dedicated to a diversity of music genres within the black culture, it has now centered its model on reality television and limited selection of rap music videos. The Encyclopedia of African American History states the ascendancy of rap music from a black, ghetto art form to a
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