Color Adjustment

Response to Color Adjustment

Marlon Riggs’ thought provoking documentary, Color Adjustment, presented various credible arguments about the portrayal of African Americans on television. One of the most intriguing inquiries posed in the film was the idea of defining the positive image of African Americans on film. If they are portrayed as lower class families struggling in a repressed society with no career opportunities, does this realistic and relatable simulation find more applause than one where a whitewashed upper middle class African America family is thriving? It is also crucial to identify the audience for this question as the answer to this most likely varies based on the spectator’s role in society.

This discourse relates to our class discussion on whether any representation is better than no representation. I personally think it is dangerous for such a popular medium such as television or any other forms of media to be responsible for molding the identity of a group of people. This holds especially true in early history when the two separate races were not integrated and for many, the only interaction and relation Whites had with African Americans was what they were exposed to on television. When entire groups of people are categorized by a few characteristics, it can often lead to the formation of a stereotype. If the traits are negative, the result is detrimental. For this reason, I have a hard time agreeing with the phrase “no press is bad press.”

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