unit 4 essay.docx - Post-1865 America emerged as a nation...

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Post-1865, America emerged as a nation experiencing the rise of technological and social change, leading to the evolution of popular culture becoming an integral part of the transformation of American society. The development of television and movies in the twentieth century paved the path for the extension of rights for blacks, an increased role in society for immigrants, and the change in roles and ideology for women, because it had the power of changing the formerly accepted perceptions of the two minority populations to a certain degree. Those opportunities, however, were ultimately limited in terms of the expected roles women had in the household and workforce, and minorities’ inferior status to whites in society.Television in the mid-twentieth century provided a way for the social and racial injustice in America to be broadcasted on a national scale, helping garner sympathy for the black community. This ultimately provided them the opportunity to expand their rights and find social equality. According to the Television Historylecture, television was first introduced to the public through the RCA Press Release of 1937. The release alluded to television being a modern and futuristic need of society. In 1948, about 200,000 television sets were sold; by 1959, 90% of US homes had a television set in them. At the same time, blacks were still experiencing inequality and were able to use television to their benefit as it was a staple in most people’s lives. For example, the murder of a young black man, Emmett Till, in 1955 was followed closely by the nation through television (Early Civil Rights Effort). The first episode of Awakenings: 1954-1956 America’s Civil Rights Movement, provided a first-hand account of how the murder of Till sparked the beginnings of Civil Rights Movement. It included the televised clips that the nation was seeing at the time: Till’s familial interviews about his death and the effect of it; his open-casket funeral showing his disfigured face; and his trial, which was a miscarriage of justice. Till’s
family was able to use television as a source to shine light on the injustices that blacks faced every day in America. It showed how the racism that they faced lead to tragedy and the failure ofthe justice system embodied in most American courts, as his murderers were acquitted of the charges. His family was ultimately successful in using the power of television to portray the pathos of his death to get people to understand why change was needed. Not much later, the CivilRights Movement garnered more national attention through television. People were seeing from the comfort of their own homes blacks struggle for their rights through physical and verbal attacks towards protestors. For example, in the Early Civil Rights Effort slide 18, there is quote

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