Down and Dirty Pictures
Primetime Blues is the first comprehensive history of African Americans on network television. Donald Bogle examines the stereotypes, which too often continue to march across the screen today, but also shows the ways in which television has been invigorated by extraordinary black performers, whose presence on the screen has been of great significance to the African American community.
Bogle's exhaustive study moves from the postwar era of Beulah and Amos 'n' Andy to the politically restless sixties reflected in I Spy and an edgy, ultra-hip program like Mod Squad. He examines the television of the seventies, when a nation still caught up in Vietnam and Watergate retreated into the ethnic humor of Sanford and Son and Good Times and the poltically conservative eighties marked by the unexpected success of The Cosby Show and the emergence of deracialized characters on such dramatic series as L.A. Law. Finally, he turns a critical eye to the television landscape of the nineties, with shows such as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, I'll Fly Away, ER, and The Steve Harvey Show.
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