The Problem We Live With

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Throughout much of the civil rights movement, the media usually addressed the subject of racism with a focus on the South—despite the pervasiveness of prejudice across the nation, even in its supposedly liberal cities. A handful of groundbreaking television programs—most notably, East Side/West Side, All in the Family, and the Richard Pryor Show—altered the way Americans viewed race by shifting the question of racism to the urban North.

In witnessing its effects through the eyes of black people or addressing the reality of prejudice in cities outside of the South, these mainstream dramas and situation comedies challenged the complacency of millions of Americans who had escaped the rigorous media scrutiny previously reserved for white supremacists and redneck police chiefs.


Image Credits/Captions (Click on thumbnails for full image)

TV Still: “Sammy’s Visit,” All in the Family, 1972

TV Still: East Side/West Side, 1963.

TV Still: The Richard Pryor Show, 1977