Racism And Media During The Civil Rights Era

2507 Words 11 Pages
Racism and media have both been around for centuries, evolving over time. With the evolution of social media racism has become even more prevalent. These platforms have made voicing one’s opinions/views as easy as the click of a button. Since the civil rights movement, people have been turning to media to raise awareness regarding social movements. During this era, they used local media platforms which were all controlled, only allowing what was approved to be released. This meant not always being completely open with race issues during the time.
The purpose of this study is to show how media was used during the Civil Rights era compared to how media is used in social movement during the 21st century. As media started to evolve and we were
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This movement occurred during a time when there was still segregation, violent race riots, police brutality, and the portrayal of African Americans as unintelligent burdens in white Americans lives. As stated by Bourgeois (1992) the portrayal of these issues in media approached them as simple black and white ignoring the gray areas altogether. Media at this time was controlled and focused on the general white public. There was no coverage on the issues regarding the black communities in the south.
The portrayal of the movement. One case that focused on the civil rights movement in Hollywood was the Mississippi Burning. Three civil rights workers were murdered and dumped into a river by white males one being a police officer followed by KKK members; Bourgeois (1992) noted that it took “150 federal agents, 44 days, and a bribe of 30,000 dollars to find the bodies and eventually bring the murders to justice” (p.159). The film itself portrayed African Americans in a way that made them seem helpless, stereotyping them throughout the film. It focused on the views of America at the time, but did not represent the truth involving the case. Bourgeois (1992) emphasized throughout that the film was “simply Americas view towards African Americans at the time and was said to be ‘a white-man’s’ burden movie that trashes black subjects while it celebrates the courage
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With public relations tactics such as pressuring local businesses came into use during a monumental time of the movement, it brought in press coverage and attention to the activists. Russell and Lamme (2012) also discovered with exploratory research that there were more than 45 magazine articles published on business and race relations from 1950 to 1970, which included 4 contemporary journal articles addressing these issues, with 32 in the Wall Street Journal. They found similar results pointing out the use of The New York Times and their media coverage which correlates with the previous information provided by Ross (1998). The public relations tactics incorporated the use of the news media when covering the local business that were being targeted, included the findings done by both Russell and Lamme (2012) and Ross (1998) with the use of large news outlets like The New York Times covering these

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