African American's and the Media Essay

1198 WordsApr 30, 20085 Pages
African Americans and the Media Today the media portrays African American males as hoodlums and thugs. The racism present in today’s media needs to be addressed and dealt with. African Americans suffer from institutional racism, are misrepresented in the news, and their portrayals on television are based on negative stereotypes that do not accurately portray reality. If there is not a major change in the media’s policy toward African Americans then this negative stereotype will continue to dominate popular opinion and eventually become an uncontested fact. “Television, or specifically media, is not merely a reflection of reality, it is a mechanism for the creation of reality.” (1) History has proven that the ruling classes in any society are always the dominant thinkers who use their power and resources to promote their own ideology. This very same principle applies to the mass media industry. Caucasians have always dominated the media industry and thus have been able to promote their own ideology uncontested. With that said, the portrayal of African Americans has always been in the hands of white image makers. Very few African Americans hold decision making jobs for television companies and as a result have no control over how they are portrayed in the media. As long as this remains the same, “institutional racism will be perpetuated—by showing insensitive caricatures, being denied prime-time television slots and green lights for movie projects, having shows canceled before being able to tap into the huge syndication monies that white mainstream has enjoyed, and being represented inauthetically in film and television.” (1) If African American’s want to restore their image they are going to have to force the issue and do it themselves. Their youth needs to understand this problem and begin working towards a career in journalism, film, or television
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