Television 1950 – Essay Example

The paper "Television 1950" is a good example of an essay on media. In 1950, the country was blessed with the millions of veterans that had returned safely from World War II. Women who had manned the factories were asked to step aside and let a man have her job. Along with this attitude came a new domesticity that was reflected in the American family gathered around the television. The fifties started off with a well-intentioned effort to deliver quality programming to the public. The year 1950 introduced the viewers to Beulah, one of the most interesting television shows in broadcast history, which starred the first female African American to ever star in a sitcom, and the last for another 18 years (Beulah - The New Arrival). The characters were a throwback to the stereotypical images of the 1920s, at a time when America was facing the rising tide of the modern civil rights movement. Most White Americans did not know or associate with the African American community and the stereotype was all that they had and all that the producers could deliver. The show may have been well-intentioned, but it was a miserable social failure. The show Beulah starred a black female that played a maid for a wealthy white family. Beulah was the brains behind the family and was constantly called upon to solve the family's problems. While the white male courted wealthy clients in an attempt to get signed contracts, Beulah was winning their hearts by baking biscuits. While Beulah was treated with a sense of dignity and respect, it was never lost on the audience that she was a maid and a lower class citizen. This socio-economic class gap was enshrined in the minds of untold viewers that had, in reality, no first-hand racial experience. Television had begun to shape the mind of America.