Until the late 1980s whiteness was consistently naturalized in U.S. television--social whiteness, that is, not the "pinko-grayishness" that British novelist E.M. Forster correctly identified as the standard skin-hue of Europeans. This whiteness has not been culturally monochrome. Irish, Italians, Jews, Poles, British, French, Germans, Russians, whether as ethnic entities or national representatives, have dotted the landscape of TV drama, providing the safe spice of white life, entertaining trills and flourishes over the basso ostinato of social whiteness.

In other words, to pivot the debate on race and television purely on whether and how people of color have figured, on or behind the screen or in the audience, is already to miss the point. What was consistently projected, without public fanfare but in teeming myriads of programs, scenes, news priorities, sportscasts, old movies, ads, was the naturalness and normalcy of social whiteness. Television visually accumulated the heritage of representation in mainstream U.S. science, religion, education, theatre, art, literature, cinema, radio, the press. According to television representation, the United States was a white nation, with some marginal "ethnic" accretions that were at their best when they could simply be ignored, like well-trained and deferential maids and doormen. This was even beyond being thought a good thing. It was axiomatic, self-evident.

Thus, American television in its first two generations inherited and diffused--on an hourly and daily basis--a mythology of whiteness that framed and sustained a racist national self-understanding. Arguably all the more powerfully for seemingly being so integral, so...inevitable.

There is a second issue. Insofar as the televisual hegemony of social whiteness has been critiqued, either on television itself, or on video, or in print, it has most often tended to focus on African-American issues. Yet in reviewing racism and ethnicity in U.S. television we need not downplay four centuries of African-American experience and contribution in order to recognize as well the importance of Native American nations, Chicanos and other Latinos, and Asian-Americans in all their variety. Thus, in this essay, attention will be paid so far as research permits to each one of these four groupings, although there will not be space to treat the important sub-groupings (Haitians, Vietnamese, etc.) within each. The discussion will commence with representation, mainstream and alternative, and then move on to employment patterns in the TV industry, broadcast and cable. The conclusion will introduce the so far under-researched question of racism, ethnicity and TV audiences. Before doing so, however, a more exact definition is needed of racism in the U.S. context.

Firstly, racism is expressed along a connected spectrum, from the casual patronizing remark to the sadism of the prison guard, from avoidance of skin-contact to the starving of public education in inner cities and reservations, or to death-rates among infants of color higher than in some Third-World countries. Racism does not have to take the form of lynching, extermination camps or slavery to be systemic, virulent--yet simultaneously dismissed as of minor importance or even as irrelevant by the white majority.

Secondly, racism may stereotype groups differently. Class is often pivotal here. Claimed success among Asian-Americans and Jews is attacked just as is claimed inability to make good among Latinos and African-Americans. Multiple Native American nations with greatly differing languages and cultures are squashed into a generic "Indian" left behind by history. Gender plays a role too: white stomachs will contract at supposedly truculent and violence-prone men of color, but ethnic minority women get attributed with pliancy--even, for white males, to presuming their special eagerness for sexual dalliance.

Thirdly, racism in the United States is binary. You are either a person of color or you are not. People of mixed descent are not permitted to confuse the issue, but belong automatically to a minority group of color. Ethnic minority individuals whose personal cultural style may be read as emblematic of the ethnic majority's, are quite often responded to as betrayers, and thus either warmly as the "good exception" by the white majority, or derisively as "self-hating" by the minority.

Lastly, as Entman (1990) and others have argued, racist belief has changed to being more supple, and "modern" racism has shed its biological absolutism. In the "modern" version the Civil Rights movement won, racial hatred is pass, talented individuals now make it.

Therefore--triumphantly--continuing ethnic minority poverty is solely the minority's overall cultural/attitudinal fault. There are many other dimensions to racism, such as the economic. Indeed, race relations in U.S. life still closely resemble the depth and width of the Grand Canyon, but rarely its beauty.

Mainstream Representation

In discussing mainstream representation, it is vital to note two issues. One is the importance of historical shifts in the representation of these issues, especially since the mid-1980s, but also at certain watermark junctures before then. The second is the importance of taking into account the entire spectrum of what television provides, from ads (perhaps 20% of TV content) to weathercasting, from sitcoms to documentaries, from sports to MTV, from non-English language programming to religious channels, from old films to breaking news to talk shows. Too many studies have zeroed in on one or other format and then taken it as representative of the whole. Here we will try to engage with the spectrum, although space and available research will put most of the focus on whites and blacks in mainstream television news and entertainment.

Historically, as MacDonald has shown, U.S. television perpetuated U.S. cinema, radio, theatre and other forms of public communication and announced people of color overwhelmingly by their absence. It was not that they were malevolently stereotyped or denounced. They simply did not appear to exist. If they surfaced, it was almost always as wraiths, silent black butlers smiling deferentially, Chicano field-hands laboring sweatily, past Indian braves whooping wildly against the march of history. Speaking parts were rare, heavily circumscribed, and typically an abusive distortion of actual modes of speech. But the essence of the problem was virtual non-existence.

Thus the TV industry collaborated to a marked degree with the segregation that marks the nation, once legally and residentially, now residentially. Programs and advertisements that might have inflamed white opinion in the South were strenuously avoided, partly in accurate recognition of the militancy of some opinions that might lead to boycotts of advertisers, but partly yielding simply to inertia in defining that potential as a fact of life beyond useful reflection.

The programs shunned were rarely in the slightest degree confrontational, or even suggestive of horrid interracial romance. The classic case was the Nat "King" Cole Show, which premiered on NBC in November 1956, and which was eventually taken off for good in December of the following year. A Who's Who of distinguished black as well as white artists and performers virtually gave their services to the show, and NBC strove to keep it alive. But it could not find a national sponsor, at one point having to rely on no less than 30 in order to be seen nationwide. Cole himself explicitly blamed the advertising agencies' readiness to be intimidated by the White Citizens Councils, the spearhead of resistance to desegregation in southern states.

This was not the only occasion that African Americans were seen on the TV screen in that era. A number of shows, notably The Ed Sullivan Show, made a point of inviting black performers on to the screen. Yet entertainment was only one thin slice of the spectrum. Articulate black individuals, such as Paul Robeson, with a clear critique of the racialization of the United States, were systematically excluded from expressing their opinion on air, in his case on the pretext he was a Communist (and thus apparently deprived of First Amendment protections).

This generalized absence, this univocal whiteness, was first really punctured by TV news coverage of the savage handling of Civil Rights demonstrations in the latter 1950s and early 1960s. Watching police dogs, fire-hoses and billy-clubs unleashed against unarmed and peaceful black demonstrators in Montgomery, Alabama, and seeing white parents--with their own children standing by their side--spewing obscenities and racially charged curses at Dr King's march through Cicero, Illinois, and hurling rocks at the marchers: these TV news images and narratives may still have portrayed African Americans as largely voiceless victims, but they were nonetheless able to communicate their dignity under fire, whereas their white persecutors communicated their own monstrous inhumanity. The same story repeated itself in the school desegregation riots in New Orleans in 1964 and Boston in 1974.

U.S. television since then made sporadic attempts to address these particular white-black issues, such as Roots, The Cosby Show, and Eyes On The Prize, and through a proliferation of black newscasters at the local level, but all the while cleaving steadfastly to three traditions. These are, firstly, the continuing virtual invisibility of Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans. Indeed, some studies indicate that for decades Latinos have hovered around 1 to 2% of characters in TV drama, very substantially less than their percentage of the public. Hamamoto (1994), similarly, charges that "By and large, TV Asians are inserted in programs chiefly as semantic markers that reflect upon and reveal telling aspects of the Euro-American characters." Secondly, the tradition of color-segregating entertainment changed but little. Even though from the latter 1980s Black shows began to multiply considerably, casts have generally been white or black (and never Latino, Native or Asian). Thirdly, the few minority roles in dramatic TV have frequently been of criminals and drug addicts. This pattern has intensively reinforced, and seemingly been reinforced by, the similar racial stereotyping common in "reality TV" police shows and local TV news programs. The standard alternative role for African Americans has been comic actor (or stand-up comic in comedy shows). Ram'rez-Berg (1990), commenting upon the wider (!) cinematic tradition of Latino portrayal, has identified the bandit/greaser, the mixed-race slut, the buffoon (male and female), the Latin lover and the alluring Dark Lady, as six hackneyed tropes. (If Latinos are given more TV space, will the first phase merely privilege the audience with negative roles in a wider spectrum?) Let us examine, however, some prominent exceptions.

Roots (1977; Roots: The Next Generations, 1979) confounded the TV industry's prior expectations, with up to 140 million viewers for all or part of it, and over 100 million for the second series. For the first time on U.S. television some of the realities of slavery--brutality, rape, enforced de-culturation--were confronted over a protracted period, and through individual characters with whom, as they fought to escape or survive, the audience could identify. Against this historic first was the individualistic focus on screenwriter Alex Haley's determined family, presented as "immigrant-times-ten" fighting an exceptionally painful way over its generations toward the American Dream myth of all U.S. immigrants. Against it too, was the emphasis on the centuries and decades before the 1970s, which the ahistorical vector in U.S. culture easily cushions from application to the often devastating here and now. Nonetheless, it was a signal achievement.

The Cosby Show (1984-92) was the next milestone. Again defeating industry expectations, the series scored exceptionally high continuing ratings right across the nation. The show attracted a certain volume of hostile comment, some of it smugly supercilious. The fact it was popular with white audiences in the South, and in South Africa, was a favorite quick shot to try to debunk it. Some critics claimed it fed the mirage that racial injustice could be overcome through individual economic advance, others that it primly fostered Reaganite conservative family values. Both were indeed easily possible readings of the show within contemporary U.S. culture. Yet critics often seemed to think a TV text could actually present a single monolithic meaningfulness or set up a firewall against inappropriate readings.

Most critics missed the oasis-in-a-desert dimension of the series for black viewers, representing a functional black family quietly confident in being black. The critics appeared oblivious of the lilywhite wasteland that had preceded the show. Most also missed the gate-opening function of The Cosby Show. Their eyes were seemingly so set on an overnight revolution in TV's racial discourses that they could not acknowledge the pivotal difference made within the industry by a show that combined being financially successful and never demeaning African Americans.

Herman Gray, one of the few critics to acknowledge this industrial role of the show in opening the gate to a large number of black television shows and to new professional experience and openings for many black media artists, is also correct in characterizing The Cosby Show as assimilationist. It hardly ever directly raised issues of social equity, except in interpersonal gender relations. Nonetheless, in the context of the nation's and the industry's history, the show could have been exquisitely correct--and never once have hit the screen.

By way of response to Gray's reading, two further complicating dimensions are worth comment. The new job-openings were valuable, but were often in the gangxploitation genre of New Jack City. One step forward, one to the side. And "assimilation"--in the sense of showing how African Americans share many values common across the United States--is still a novel message, Lesson 1, to far too many of the majority. In turn, the African American specificities that continue to contribute so much to the nation are Lessons 2 and following for many citizens of every ethnic background.

Eyes On The Prize (1988; 1990) is much more straightforward to discuss. A brilliant documentary series on the Black Civil Rights movements from 1954-85, it too marked a huge watershed in U.S. television history. Partly its achievement was to bring together historical footage with movement participants, some very elderly, who could supply living oral history. Partly, too, its achievement was that producer-director Henry Hampton consistently included in the narrative the voices of segregationist foes of the movement, on the ground that the story was theirs too. This gave the opportunity for self-reflexion within the White audience rather than easy self-distancing.

However, the series was on PBS and thus never drew the kind of audience summoned up by Roots. The public appetite for documentaries was also at something of a low toward the end of the century, as opposed to Europe and Russia where the documentary form was much more popular. Eyes' influence would be bound to be slower, though significant, through video rentals and college courses. Its primary significance for present purposes is its demonstration of what could be done televisually, but was never contemplated to be undertaken by the commercial TV companies.

In 1996, PBS screened a similar four-part series, Chicano!, by documentarist Hector Galan on the Chicano social movements in the South-West, a story much less known even than the Black civil rights movements.

These then were turning points, not in the sense of an instantaneous switch, but in terms of setting a high water mark that expanded the definition of the possible in U.S. TV. The other turning point was the proliferation, mostly locally, of black and indeed of other ethnic minority group individuals as newscasters. Thus although newscasters rarely had the clout to write their own bulletin scripts, let alone decide on news priorities for reporting or investigation, they had the cachet of a very public, trusted role. To that extent, this development did carry considerable symbolic prestige for the individuals concerned.

Only as time went on and racial news values and priorities remained the same or similar despite the change in faces, did the limits of this development begin to become more apparent. At about the same time, most news bulletins, especially locally, were deteriorating into infotainment, with lengthy weather and sports reports incorporated into the half hour. Perhaps television news over the longer term will be increasingly vacated of its traditional significance in the United States, and will become more a reaffirmation of community and localism, with ethnic minority newscasters as a rather indeterminate entity within the endeavor.

Alternative Representations

Alternative representations became somewhat more frequent after The Cosby Show's success. In part this change was also due to the steadily declining price of video-cameras and editing equipment, to support from federal and state arts commissions, and to developments in cable TV, especially public access, which opened up more scope for independent video-makers to develop their own work, some of which could be screened locally and even nationally.

MacDonald, however, goes so far as to forecast cable TV's multiple channels as an almost automatic technical solution to the heritage of unequal access for African Americans. The "technological fix" he envisages would not of itself address the urgent national need for dialogue on race and whiteness in television's public forum. Nor does it seem to bargain with the huge costs of generating mostly new product for even a single cable channel.


In Living Color (Keenan Ivory Wayans)

All in all, though, the emergence of a variety of shows such as Frank's Place, A Different World, In Living Color, and of cable and UHF channels such as Black Entertainment Television, Univision, and Telemundo, together with leased ethnic group program-slots in metropolitan areas, did begin to change the standard white face of television at the margins, even though the norm remained.

These new developments were often contradictory. The often cheap-shot satirization of racial issues on In Living Color, the question Gray and others raise concerning BET programming as often simply a black reproduction of white televisual tropes, the role of black sitcoms and stand-up comics as a new version of an older tradition in which blackness is acceptable as farce, are all conflicted examples.

Another contradictory example is Univision, effectively dominated by Mexico's near-monopoly TV giant Televisa. Its entertainment programs are mostly a secondary market for Televisa's products, and while they are certainly popular, they have had little direct echo of Chicano or other Latino life in the United States. Its news programs have been dominated by Cuban political expatriates, whose obsession with the Castro regime and whose frequent avoidance of Chicanos and Mexican issues have often raised hackles within the largest Latino group. At the same time, as Rodr'guez (1996) has shown, Univision's news program has cultivated--for commercial reasons of mass appeal--a pan-ethnic Spanish that over time may arguably contribute to a pan-Latino U.S. cultural identity, rather than the Chicano, Caribbean, Central and South American fragments that constitute the Latino minority.

It is difficult, too, to summarize a sense for the profusion of single features and documentaries, either generated by video-artists of color, or on ethnic themes, scattered as they are over multiple tiny distributors or self-distributed. Suffice it to say that distribution, cable channels notwithstanding, is the hugest single problem that such work encounters. (Sources of information on these videos include Asian-American CineVision, the Black Filmmakers Foundation, and National Video Resources, all in New York City, and Facets Video in Chicago.)

In examining alternatives, finally, we need to take stock of some of the mainstream alternatives to segregated casts, such as one of the earliest, Hawaii Five-O, and Miami Vice and NYPD Blue. The first was definitely still within the Tonto tradition insofar as the ethnic minority cops were concerned ("Yes boss" seemed to be the limit of their vocabulary). Miami Vice's tri-ethnic leads were less anchored in that tradition, although Edward James Olmos as the police captain often approximated Captain Dobey in Starsky and Hutch, apparently only nominally in charge. NYPD Blue carried over some of that tradition as regarded the African American lieutenant's role, but actually starred two Latinos in the three key police roles in the second series. (One was played by an Italian American, in a continuing variation on "blackface" seemingly popular with casting directors.) A central issue, however, raised once more the question of "modern" racism. A repetitive feature of the show was the skill of the police detectives in pressuring people they considered guilty to sign confessions and not to avail themselves of their legal rights.

Two comments are in order. One is that a police team is shown at work, undeflected by racial animosity, strenuously task-driven. It is a theme with its roots in many World War II movies, though in them ethnicity was generally the focus rather than race. The inference plainly to be drawn was that atavistic biases should be laid aside in the face of clear and present danger, with the contemporary "war" being against the constant tide of crime.

Yet a second issue, passed over in silence, yells for attention. A vastly disproportionate number of prisoners, in relation to their percentage of the nation, are African Americans and Latinos. On NYPD Blue we see firm unity among white, black and Latino police professionals in defining aggressive detection and charge practices as legitimate and essential, even though it is procedures like those that, along with racially differential sentencing and parole procedures, have often helped create that huge imbalance in U.S. jails. A war is on, and hard-headed, loyal cops in the firing line, know it.

Within the paradigm of "modern" racism, co-opting ethnic minority individuals into police work made a great deal of sense (the security industry was living proof). Any TV reference was extremely rare to the fierce racial tensions often seething between police officers. How much had changed? It was like the energetically gyrating multi-racial perpetual-party dancers of MTV: a heavily sugared carapace clamped on a very sour reality.

The Television Industry and Race Relations

Except for a clutch of public figures led by Bill Cosby, CNN's Bernard Shaw, talk-show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Geraldo, and moderately influential behind-the-camera individuals such as Susan Fales, Charles Floyd Johnson, and Suzanne de Passe, and local newscasters, the racial casting of television organizations has been distinctly leisurely in changing. Cable television has the strongest ratio of minority personnel, but this should be read in connection with its lower pay-scales and its minimal original production schedules. Especially in positions of senior authority, television is still largely a white enterprise.

The Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) statistics are often less than helpful in determining the true picture, and represent a classic instance of bureaucratic response to the demand to collect evidence by refusing to focus with any precision on the matter in hand. Thus according to the FCC's 1994 figures the two seeming top categories (Officials and Managers, and Professionals) showed percentages of 13.5 and 18.5 ethnic minority employees. Moderately encouraging it would seem in the latter case, against a national percentage of around 25% people of color, until the tiresome question is posed as to what roles are covered by those categories. At that juncture, fog descends. Only at the time of writing is more careful research, sponsored by the Radio & Television News Directors Association, about to delve into those ragbag categories and disaggregate them.

What can be said from FCC statistics is that Sales Workers positions were only 13.3% occupied by people of color as of 1994. This sounds rather a low-level job, until it is recalled that this is the prime category from which commercial station managers are recruited. Public TV had 11.1% for that year. The statistic does not bode well for the future. By contrast, the Laborers category in commercial TV in 1994 was 56.1% non-majority.

NTIA data show that ownership of commercial TV stations was in ethnic minority hands in just 31 out of 1155 cases across the United States in 1994. Six were in California, six in Texas, three in Michigan, two in Illinois, and one each in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin.

The question then at issue is how far this absence from positions of TV authority determines the mainstream representation patterns surveyed above. Abstractly conceived, if no customary formats or tropes were changed, and none of the legal, financial and competitive vectors vanished, a television executive stratum composed entirely of ethnic minority individuals would likely proceed to reproduce precisely the same patterns.

But this is abstract, and only helps to shed light on the pressures to conform faced by the few ethnic minority individuals scattered through the TV hierarchy. Sociologically, were their executive numbers to increase even to within hailing distance of their percentage of the nation, a much wider internal dialogue would be feasible concerning the very limits of the possible in television. We come back, in a sense, to Cosby.

Since the proportion of black and Latino viewers was higher than the national average, and since between them they accounted in 1995 for at least $300 billion consumer spending a year, the economic logic of advertising by the mid-1990s seemed to point toward increasing inclusiveness in TV. How this clash between economic logic and inherited culture would work out, remained to be seen.

Audience And Spectatorship

We come to the most complex question of all, namely how viewers process televisual content related to race and ethnicity. It has already been argued that decades of daily programs have mostly underwritten the perception of the United States as at core a white nation with a white culture, rather than a pluricultural nation beset by entrenched problems of ethnic inequity. Television fare has obviously not been a lone voice in this regard, but nor has it been anything resembling a steady opposition voice. This judgment obviously transcends interpretations of particular programs or even genres. It is sufficiently loose in formulation to leave its plausible practical consequences open to extended discussion. Yet given the ever greater dominance of television in U.S. everyday culture, TV's basic vision of the world can hardly be dismissed as impotent.

It was a vision likely to reassure the white majority that it had little to learn or benefit from people of color. Rather, TV coverage of immigration and crime made it much easier to be afraid of them. George Bush's manipulation of the Willie Horton case for his 1988 campaign commercial had even the nation's vice-president and president-to-be drawing on, and thus endorsing, the standard tropes of local TV news.

Naturally, not all of the White majority were to be found clicked into position behind that vision. However, it was ever harder to muster a coherent and forward-looking public debate about race, whiteness and the nation's future, given TV's continuing refusal, in the main, to step up to the plate. It was not the only agency with that responsibility, nor the unique forum available. But TV was and is crucial to any solution. Should the conclusion be that TV's dependence on so many other national forces--advertisers, corporations, government--have reduced its generals to the power-level of Robert Burns' "wee, cowering, timorous" fieldmouse?

The detailed analysis of audience reception of particular shows or series is a delicate business, linking as it will into the many filaments of social and cultural life for white audiences and for audiences of color. It is, though, a sour comment on audience researchers that so little has been done to date to explore how TV is appropriated by various ethnic minority audiences, or how majority audiences handle ethnic themes. Commercial research has been content simply to register viewer levels by ethnicity; academic research, with a scatter of exceptions has rarely troubled to explore ethnic diversity in processing TV, despite the outpouring of ethnographic audience studies in the 1980s and 1990s. Truly, as DuBois forecast in 1903, the color line has been the problem of the twentieth century.

-John D.H. Downing


Abernathy-Lear, Gloria. "African Americans' Criticisms Concerning African American Representations on Daytime Serials." Journalism Quarterly (Urbana, Illinois) 1994.

Bobo, Jacqueline. Black Women as Cultural Readers. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.

Campbell, Christopher P. Race, Myth and the News. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, 1995

Corea, Ash. 1995. "Racism and the American Way of Media." In Downing, John, Ali Mohammadi, and Annabelle Sreberny-Mohammadi, editors. Questioning the Media: A Critical Introduction. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, 1990; 2nd edition, 1995.

Cosby, Camille O. Television's Imageable Influences: The Self-Perceptions of Young African Americans. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1994.

Dates, Jannette L., and William Barlow, editors. Split Image: African Americans in the Mass Media. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1993.

Downing, John. "The Cosby Show and American Racial Discourse." In Van Dijk, Teun A., and Geneva Smitherman-Donaldson, editors. Discourse and Discrimination. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 1988.

Drinnon, Richard. Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating and Empire-Building. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1980.

Entman, Robert. "Modern Racism and the Images of Blacks in Local Television News." Critical Studies In Mass Communication (Annandale, Virginia), 1990.

Essed, Philomena. Understanding Everyday Racism: An Interdisciplinary Theory. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, 1991.

Fiske, John. Media Matters: Everyday Culture and Political Change. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.

Gray, Herman. Watching Race: Television and the Struggle for "Blackness." Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995.

Hamamoto, Darrell Y. Monitored Peril: Asian Americans and the Politics of TV Representation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.

Hooks, Bell. Black Looks: Race and Representation. Boston: South End Press, 1992.

Jhally, Sut, and Justin Lewis. Enlightened Racism: The Cosby Show, Audiences, and the Myth of the American Dream. Boulder, Colorado: Westview, 1992.

MacDonald, J. Fred. Blacks and White TV: Afro Americans in Television Since 1948. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1983; 2nd edition, 1992.

Navarrete, Lisa, and Charles Kamasaki. Out of the Picture: Hispanics in the Media. Washington D.C.: National Council of La Raza, 1994.

Ram'rez-Berg, Charles. "Stereotyping in Films in General and of the Hispanic in Particular." The Howard Journal Of Communication (Washington, D.C.), 1990.

Rodr'guez, America. "Objectivity and Ethnicity in the Production of the Noticiero Univision." Critical Studies In Mass Communication (Annandale, Virginia), 1996.

West, Cornel. Race Matters. Boston. Beacon Press, 1993.


See also Allen, Debbie; Amen; Amos 'n' Andy; Berg, Gertrude; Beulah; Black Entertainment Network; Cosby, Bill; Cosby Show, The; Different World, A; Ed Sullivan Show, The; Eyes on the Prize; Family on Television; Frank's Place; Flip Wilson Show, The; Goldbergs, The; Good Times; Haley, Alex; Hemsley, Sherman; Hooks, Benjamin Lawson; I Spy; Jeffersons, The; Julia; Music on Television; Nat "King" Cole Show, The; National Asian Americans in Telecommunications Association; Parker, Everett C.; Pryor, Richard; Reid, Tim; Riggs, Marlon; Room 222; Roots; 227; Social Class and Television; Telemundo; Univision; Waters, Ethel; Wilson, Flip; Winfrey, Oprah; Women of Brewster Place, The; Zorro