The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America - Chapter 9 Analysis Essay

Published: 2022-06-29
The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America - Chapter 9 Analysis Essay
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Race Discrimination Media
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 861 words
8 min read

In chapter 9, the author's goal is to illustrate how effective the media is in engraving the issue of race amongst the Americans. He, therefore, looks at the content delivered through the mainstream media and the audience targeted. He further identifies that the material presented in the media forms racial boundaries and also maintains the traditional view in the minds of people about racism. Unfortunately, media has been a useful tool to bring out skewed perceptions of race in connection with crime, poverty, and inferiority in the society. On the other hand, media has a significant impact on the emotions, cognition, and behavior of its audience. This has therefore resulted in anger, shame and other negative emotions in areas where there has been a negative characterization of a particular race. Moreover, with functional characterization of a specific race, good feelings have been prompted among various audiences.

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According to Robert and Andrew, the biggest reason for racism is fear and mistrust. It is easily overcome by having a blood relationship with someone or being engaged in a horizontal relationship with the one another. Therefore, these individuals need more of informal communication to build trust and reduce the fear for each other. An example of such an avenue is media. Most of the time people would have a perception of some they know from real life experiences with them and prototypes while they would have just prototypes for those that do not do. These prototypes are fundamental because they establish in one's mind through the various data information they get especially the mainstream media.

Evidence supports that media has a prominent role in creating images of a particular race in the minds of its audience. White Students participated in the test by watching two conflicting programs in the TV. One of the programs gave a representation of successful blacks while the other one represented the blacks as criminals, weak, unintelligent and lazy. Students who watched one of the two programs had a completely different view of blacks from the students who attended the other program. Moreover, studies illustrated that the roles that different participants played roles in a particular movie or episode such as having the whites take the high positions while the blacks the lowest or having minimal direct conversations between the two races due to locations created prototypes among the audience.

Since the start of the early years of media, there has been a difference in the manner in which each race represented in America's prime television. Studies have shown that in the 1970s blacks comprised of 6% representation in media while there were making 12% of the U.S population. However, this has not changed with time. Though there is increased representation of the blacks, the whites still dominate America's prime television. The difference in the racial representation has enhanced racism because it is an essential marker in the society. Therefore, reflecting a race's strengths and status. On the other hand, this representation has increased, but the stereotype of blacks in America persists. Other factors such as the quality and quantity of movies and advertising shown have been instrumental in reinforcing racism in the U.S. This involves having blacks always at lower positions in advertisements or being aggressive and violent.

It is also important to note that the representation that the prime television gives to its audience goes beyond their minds but also their practice. Due to the manner in which media has represented the blacks over the years; the long-term effect has been adverse whereby the whites perceive the blacks to be lesser than them. It is unfortunate that in cases where a black has made it to the high positions where it is understood to be a white's position he or she is still stereotyped. Studies have also shown how this has had a negative impact on the blacks especially the children by imposing on them low self esteem. The big networks in the U.S are said to be under a lot of pressure due to growing competition. They have, therefore, targeted more similar market programs, thus increasing the culture of racism in America. Sandy who is the president of 20th century Fox television was recorded saying that no one is crying out to have an integrated show and that their concern was the massive audience whereby they did not need the Blacks. Therefore, even in the current advancement in the U.S Blacks that are involved with prime television streaming such as producers still face a lot of hindrances at their work. It is, therefore, upon the media stakeholders to have an all-inclusive perception to be able to relay the same to its audience.


Entman, M. Robert, and Andrew Rojecki. "The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America." Chap. 9 in Prime-Time Television: White and Whiter, 144-161. London: The University of Chicago Press Ltd., 2000.

Mastro, Dana. "Race and Ethnicity in U>S Media Content and Effects." Critical/Cultural

Studies, Communication and Culture, Media and Communication Policy (Oxford Research Encyclopedias), September 2017.

Prince, Richard. "How Media Have Shaped our Perception of Race and Crime." Journal-isms. COMMUNICATION. April 9, 2014. (accessed June 26, 2018).

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