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Race Relations Debate: Media Stereotypes
Hugh B. Price, National Urban League Hugh B. Price, National Urban League Robert L. Woodson, Sr. National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise Robert L. Woodson, Sr. National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

Despite the demise of "Amos 'n Andy" and "Two Coons Axle Grease," critics often charge that the mainstream media and commercial advertising continue to present African-Americans in stereotypical roles or with anti-black images. Do you agree or disagree? If so, is there a way to change these portrayals?

Hugh Price's Response: I agree that many images of blacks on TV are unfortunate. So are the images of lots of whites on those popular daytime talk shows. Many shows have very positive images of blacks. Television entertainment is what it is, for better or for worse. The best remedy is for these programs to lose audience share over time and disappear, and for viewers to gravitate to shows that convey positive images. If neither of those things happens, the situation is likely to continue because, after all, that's entertainment. There is a line of offensiveness that shouldn't be crossed and that shouldn't go unchallenged.

Robert Woodson's Response: The success of such stars as Denzel Washington and Will Smith in mainstream roles is a good thing. Also, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby are among the biggest moneymakers in the entertainment field and have always been presented in very positive roles.


Debate Topics Menu
Affirmative Action
Diversity in Schools
Economic Future
Faith Based Initiatives
Knowing Each Other
Leadership Models
Media Stereotypes
Political Power
Race in the 21st Century
Slavery Reparations

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