Left of Black S2:E32 | May 14, 2012
American Bandstand & the Civil Rights Movement, and Black Visual Literacy
Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Professor Matthew Delmont (Scripps College), author of the just published The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock N’ Roll and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia. (University of California Press) Neal and Delmont discuss the racial politics in the city of Philadelphia in the 1950s that informed American Bandstand’s early practices of limiting the presence of Black kids in the show’s early years as well as the role of the show in constructing an idealized image American youth. Delmont also highlights the role of Black media personalities Mitch Thomas and Georgie Woods in the success of American Bandstand.
Later, Neal is joined, also via Skype by designer, curator, illustrator, cartoonist, and award-winning graphic novelist John Jennings, author (with Damien Duffy) of Black Comix: African American Independent Comics Art & Culture. Jennings, a Professor of Visual Studies at the University of Buffalo, discusses the importance on visual literacy, the challenges within the comic industry to address race, the labor of racial stereotypes, and the recent Tupac hologram.
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