Media's Influence On The Civil Rights Movement

Decent Essays
Slavery, as well as other historical movements, frames ‘black’ in a destructive light. The “socio-historical […] portrayal of African Americans” (Child 61) has been largely negative in America. Prior prejudice against minorities prompt current generations to condone the same acts. The Civil Rights Movement offers examples of how blacks were denied. Plessy v. Ferguson allowed the thought that segregation was alright as long as things offered were “separate, but equal”, which they more than often were not. The issues surrounding the Little Rock Five illustrate the anger and aggressive hate American society held for African Americans. Rather than accept Blacks into society, they were fought against and shunned. This unwillingness of many to integrate…show more content…
Often, the advertisements aired on television have content that unintentionally support stereotypes. “Contemporary […] news media” (Childs 61) overflow with discussion of racial spurred injustice and conflict, contributing to the negative light shed onto the racial community as a whole. Blackface was quite common in the media, being a way to mock those belonging to the African American race (Tar soap). While discriminatory ads are not as explicitly aired as they were when racial prejudice was standard, there are ways that color bias still exists in current media. Just as Blackface was used to allude to the “sub-human” (Childs 61) dirtiness of the Black community, there are advertisements now that subtly do the same (Dove soap). Priming, “a concept highlighting how […] cues […] activate cognitive associations” (Sonnett, Johnson, and Dolan 328) clarifies how exposure to a stimulus influences later responses to the same stimulus. The negative views one is exposed to often find themselves resurfacing in the ways that we respond to life. Despite the difference in generations, the same bias lies within society’s “racial representation” (Sonnett, Johnson, and Dolan…show more content…
Although Western society as a whole has progressed from those days, it was only within the last few decades that the Civil Rights movement somewhat successfully promoted integration within America. Even as the melting pot of a plethora of cultures and ethnicities, America is quite divided in its cultural acceptance and identity. Racism may no longer be explicitly condoned, but it does exist in many forms within the world. Unfortunately, though society’s legal actions have since lawfully prevented discrimination as such, the same cultural disparity that existed in segregated times is present today. Whether through social media or public interactions, there is a distinct difference in the nation’s view of Black culture versus the white majority of America. Spurred by centuries old beliefs, stereotypes dominate the social world in mediums such as television and music. Despite the abundance of influences within Western society, America subconsciously continues to promote a negative cultural image of the Black
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