On the "Amos and Andy" show, all the stars were white men. In "Don't Touch that Dial," J. Fred MacDonald dedicated a chapter to African American contributions. Before World War II, most black characters were coon, mammy, or Tom stereotypes.
The United States Commission on Civil Rights warned that stereotypes perpetuated by television sitcoms presented African Americans as ridiculous and non-serious. White actors depicted the characters in "Birth of a Nation" and "Amos and Andy."
Marlin Hurt originally depicted the maid. In 1947, the network hired Hattie McDaniel; she was replaced by Lillian and then Amanda Randolph. World War II helped racial equality in America because it demonstrated what happened when racism got out of control.
Richard Durham wrote 97 scripts that dealt with black realities. One of the most poignant scripts was about the trial of Denmark Vesey. Judith Waller introduced "Destination Freedom" and "Amos and Andy."
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This program from Tony Brown's Journal turns back the pages of radio history to examine the treatment of Blacks during radio's Golden Age.
Length: 25 minutes
Copyright date: ©1980
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.
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