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Equal TimeTelevision and the Civil Rights Movement$
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Aniko Bodroghkozy

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036682

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036682.001.0001

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Is This What You Mean by Color TV?

Is This What You Mean by Color TV?


(p.180) Chapter 7 Is This What You Mean by Color TV?
Equal Time

Aniko Bodroghkozy

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how entertainment television addressed color-blind equality through an analysis of NBC's Julia, considered the most significant entertainment show of the civil rights years. Created by writer-director Hal Kanter and starring Diahann Carroll, Julia presented viewers with whites only as supporting characters. However, the image Julia provided could only clash uncomfortably with dominant news imagery of exploding ghettos, Black Panthers and other non-nonviolent militants, as well as the generalized chaos and upheaval characterizing the period. This chapter argues that Julia was a fictional vision of the “black and white together” utopia promised in the networks' March on Washington coverage. It also considers how black and white audiences as well as mainstream press critics all made sense of the show in notably different and, at times, contradictory ways. Finally, it discusses the concerns of black viewers and some white critics about Julia, including its depiction of the black family.

Keywords:   entertainment television, equality, NBC, Julia, Hal Kanter, Diahann Carroll, ghettos, Black Panthers, audiences, black family

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