Equal Time: Television and the Civil Rights Movement

University of Illinois Press
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Equal Time: Television and the Civil Rights Movement explores the crucial role of network television in reconfiguring new attitudes in race relations during the civil rights movement. Due to widespread coverage, the civil rights revolution quickly became the United States' first televised major domestic news story. This important medium unmistakably influenced the ongoing movement for African American empowerment, desegregation, and equality. Aniko Bodroghkozy brings to the foreground network news treatment of now-famous civil rights events including the 1965 Selma voting rights campaign, integration riots at the University of Mississippi, and the March on Washington, including Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. She also examines the most high-profile and controversial television series of the era to feature African American actors--East Side/West Side, Julia, and Good Times--to reveal how entertainment programmers sought to represent a rapidly shifting consensus on what "blackness" and "whiteness" meant and how they now fit together.
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About the author

Aniko Bodroghkozy is an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and the author of Groove Tube: Sixties Television and the Youth Rebellion.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Illinois Press
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Published on
Feb 15, 2012
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9780252093784
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Communication Studies
Language Arts & Disciplines / General
Performing Arts / Television / History & Criticism
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
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Critics often claim that prime-time television seemed immune—or even willfully blind—to the landmark upheavals rocking American society during the 1960s. Groove Tube is Aniko Bodroghkozy’s rebuttal of this claim. Filled with entertaining and enlightening discussions of popular shows of the time—such as The Monkees, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Mod Squad—this book challenges the assumption that TV programming failed to consider or engage with the decade’s youth-lead societal changes.
Bodroghkozy argues that, in order to woo an increasingly lucrative baby boomer audience, television had to appeal to the social and political values of a generation of young people who were enmeshed in the hippie counterculture, the antiwar movement, campus protests, urban guerilla action—in general, a culture of rebellion. She takes a close look at the compromises and negotiations that were involved in determining TV content, as well as the ideological difficulties producers and networks faced in attempting to appeal to a youthful cohort so disaffected from dominant institutions. While programs that featured narratives about hippies, draft resisters, or revolutionaries are examined under this lens, Groove Tube doesn’t stop there: it also examines how the nation’s rebellious youth responded to these representations. Bodroghkozy explains how, as members of the first “TV generation,” some made sense of their societal disaffection in part through their childhood experience with this powerful new medium.
Groove Tube will interest sociologists, American historians, students and scholars of television and media studies, and others who want to know more about the 1960s.
Critics often claim that prime-time television seemed immune—or even willfully blind—to the landmark upheavals rocking American society during the 1960s. Groove Tube is Aniko Bodroghkozy’s rebuttal of this claim. Filled with entertaining and enlightening discussions of popular shows of the time—such as The Monkees, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Mod Squad—this book challenges the assumption that TV programming failed to consider or engage with the decade’s youth-lead societal changes.
Bodroghkozy argues that, in order to woo an increasingly lucrative baby boomer audience, television had to appeal to the social and political values of a generation of young people who were enmeshed in the hippie counterculture, the antiwar movement, campus protests, urban guerilla action—in general, a culture of rebellion. She takes a close look at the compromises and negotiations that were involved in determining TV content, as well as the ideological difficulties producers and networks faced in attempting to appeal to a youthful cohort so disaffected from dominant institutions. While programs that featured narratives about hippies, draft resisters, or revolutionaries are examined under this lens, Groove Tube doesn’t stop there: it also examines how the nation’s rebellious youth responded to these representations. Bodroghkozy explains how, as members of the first “TV generation,” some made sense of their societal disaffection in part through their childhood experience with this powerful new medium.
Groove Tube will interest sociologists, American historians, students and scholars of television and media studies, and others who want to know more about the 1960s.
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