Evolution of Black TV
A Reality Takeover
With black television making its debut in the 70s, it is no surprise that most were spin-offs from popular shows like All in the Family or Maude. Developed by the legendary Norman Lear, these sitcoms became so popular at the time because of the huge impact it shared on black culture and society.
For instance, Sanford and Son was a show about a widower and junk dealer living at 9114 South Central Avenue in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. It featured Fred and his moneymaking schemes that routinely backfired as he searched for ways to get out of working which included him sometimes faking a heart attack. He’s rude, sarcastic, outspoken, overtly prejudiced, and pretty darn nasty to his friends and family.
But Sanford and Son nor
Welcome to the 80s!
In 1894, NBC premiered its new show called The Cosby Show which featured an upper
Where are all the Black TV Show Now?
With a booming obsession for drama and reality TV, black sitcoms are becoming less and less of a demand. As channels like VH1, Bravo and MTV become more popular, so does the demand for the production of more and more shows like Love and Hip-Hop, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Basketball Wives. These show not portray a more negative stereotype against blacks but reverse the pattern seen in the 70s with the production of earlier sitcoms.
As mention before, I chose this particular topic because I want to show the full circle that has been made around the culture of Black Television. Not only was it damaging then but it seems like now we have fallen victim again to those same stereotypes but in a different form or fashion.
For this project, I used images of positive shows dating from the 70s to now in the background to create a sense of disconnect and to show how those shows have fallen victim to the growing demand of Black Reality Television.
Check it out!
As always, let me know what you think in the comments below!