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British television and constructs of race

Adjusting the contrast National and cultural identity, ethnicity and difference have always been major themes within the national psyche. People are witnessing the rise and visibility of far-right politics and counter-movements in the UK and USA. Simultaneously, there is an urgent need to defend the role of public service media. This book emerges at a time when these shifts and conjunctures that impact on and shape how 'race' and racial difference are perceived. They are coinciding with rapidly changing media contexts and environments and the kinds of racial representations that are constructed within public service broadcasting (PSB), specifically the BBC and Channel 4. The book explores a range of texts and practices that address the ongoing phenomenon of race and its relationship to television. Policies and the management of race; transnationalism and racial diversity; historical questions of representation; the myth of a multicultural England are also explored. It interrogates three television primarily created by women, written by women, feature women in most of the lead roles, and forcefully reassert the place of women in British history. The book contributes to the range of debates around television drama and black representation, examining BBC's Shoot the Messenger and Top Boy. Finally, it explores some of the history that led to the belated breakthrough of Black and Asian British comedy. The book also looks at the production of jokes about race and colour prior to the 1980s and 1990s, and questioning what these jokes tell us about British multiculturalism in this period.

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Darrell M. Newton

This chapter focuses on interviews that feature the contemporary perspectives of Black Britons working within the London television market. Issues for discussion with the interviewees included representations of race and class, programming and opportunities for minorities, empowerment and opportunity, Americanisation as an influence, the birth of Black-owned Identity Television, presence, diversity and the future of Black Britons on BBC television. Subjects include recent BBC Director of Multicultural Programming Jan Oliver, cultural critic Stuart Hall, actor Treva Etienne, journalist Neema Kambona, BBC presenter Brenda Emmanus, journalist Kadija George-Sesay and BBC Diversity Manager Cyril Husbands. Follow-up interviews years later continue these discussions of, among other issues, newer programmes, current representations, and future possibilities for diverse programming. By comparison, their concerns exemplify the challenges still facing these professionals of colour when dealing with the hegemony and patronage of the BBC and the British television industry. Through a series of open-ended questions, media professionals comment on the BBC and its broadcast policies. These discussions occurred within the 1990s and were considered a turning point by some for racial representations on British television. Each question and subsequent response reflect decades of personal experiences with the service.

in Paving the empire road
Abstract only
Darrell M. Newton

colour when dealing with the hegemony and patronage of the BBC and the British television industry. Through a series of open-ended questions, media professionals comment on, among other things, the BBC and its broadcast policies. These discussions occur within the 1990s, considered a turning point by some for racial representations on British television. Each question and subsequent response reflects decades of personal experiences with the Service. Chapter 5 highlights the BBC under Director-General Greg Dyke, a leader thought to represent the best chance for

in Paving the empire road
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Sarita Malik and Darrell M. Newton

witnessing the rise and visibility of far-right politics and counter-movements in the UK and USA. Simultaneously, there is an urgent need to defend the role of public service media, given its position in the multicultural public sphere.1 This collection emerges at a time when these shifts and conjunctures that impact on and shape how ‘race’ and racial difference are perceived, are coinciding with rapidly changing media contexts and environments and the kinds of racial representations that are constructed within public service broadcasting (PSB). Even in the midst of these

in Adjusting the contrast
Firearm iconography in Western literature and film
Justin A. Joyce

representations of gun violence. Importantly, however, at this time racial representations also shifted dramatically. A racialized hierarchy is the other clear rhetorical emphasis in this period, and worked alongside the glorification of the pistol to link superior weaponry with the moral superiority of Anglo culture. Beyond the very real historical fact that such superior firearm technologies as the repeating rifle and revolver provided a crucial military advantage in nineteenth-century campaigns against Native Americans, the mythical Western hero’s gun violence is represented

in Gunslinging justice
Race and justifiable homicide in neoliberalism’s Western imagination
Justin A. Joyce

: Aspects of a Movie Genre (London: Secker & Warburg, in association with the British Film Institute, 1973), p. 94. It may also be important to note that Woody Strode’s voice-over narration which begins the 1993 film Posse also cites a similar percentage of African Americans among working cowboys in the nineteenth-century West. 24 In this book’s Introduction I invoked a metaphorical beloved-but-flawed relative, the racist Grandpa, as a stand-in for the Western genre, to hint at the progress of racial representations within the normative portrait of gunslinging justice

in Gunslinging justice
Darrell M. Newton

wrangling with racial representations. The BBC until 1956, a midpoint of the highly nationalistic post-war 1950s, did not produce programmes and documentaries that addressed the West Indian as a potential citizen (or threat). As determined by BBC viewer research panels, the images of these hopeful citizens had a very meaningful effect. Though many Britons had yet to acknowledge a colour bar in the UK, there had been criticism levelled at the USA and against South Africa for patterns of institutionalised racism and colour prejudice. After immigration had begun to increase

in Paving the empire road
Darrell M. Newton

in that it positioned any attempts to rectify previous disparities as insincere. As the research indicates, the BBC had been involved in the recruitment of Black writers long before it was popular. The notion that Channel 4 did comedies merely because they were funny does not justify racist depictions or shallow White production of West Indian imagery. His successor was Yasmine Anwar, who took over his post in October of 1997, having worked previously at the BBC as an Executive Producer of Cultural Programming. She addressed issues of racial representations and

in Paving the empire road