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Synopsis

Originally published as a dissertation in 1993, this revised edition of “Black Athletes in the Media” is a sociohistorical documentation of trends in the characterization of black athletes in the news media. This study seeks to demonstrate and explain the ambiguity and dilemma of black acceptance in the American ideal with respect to black sporting achievements over the Twentieth Century. The evolution of black stereotypes, depictions and generalizations are traced and exposed in contemporary media. With respect to the media as the foremost propagator of the racial stereotype, it has the ability to shape, influence and arouse public opinion through the manipulation of controversial events. As a result, social imagination is thus enhanced by this authority and “keeper” of social values. The major attention given to black and ethnic athletes by the media represents and reflects a consistent pattern of racial assessments and stereotypical journalistic attitudes.

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