TV in Black: The First Fifty Years

Watch TV in Black: The First Fifty Years

  • NR
  • 2004
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 7.8  (53)

TV in Black: The First Fifty Years is a documentary film that takes a look at the history of African Americans in television, beginning from the 1950s up until the present day. The film features a range of African American actors, journalists, and television executives, as well as archival footage of some of the most significant moments in the history of black television.

The film is divided into several sections, each of which focuses on a particular period in the history of African Americans on TV. In the early years of television, black performers were often relegated to poorly written, stereotypical roles, but as the civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1960s, black performers began to demand better representation on television.

The film includes interviews with a number of notable African American actors and performers, including Muhammad Ali, who appeared on various talk shows and sports broadcasts throughout his career. Jonelle Allen, an actress who appeared in a number of popular television shows in the 1970s, including "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island," also offers her perspective on the experiences of African Americans in television.

In addition to interviews with individual performers, the film also includes segments on some of the most popular African American shows of the 1960s and 1970s, including "The Cosby Show" and "Good Times." Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, one of the stars of the classic television series "The Jack Benny Show," shares his experiences of performing on one of the first television shows to feature a black performer in a recurring role.

The film also explores the ways in which African Americans have been represented on news programs, from the groundbreaking coverage of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s to more recent debates about the representation of black people in the media. John Amos, best known for his roles in "Good Times" and "Roots," discusses his experiences as a journalist and television host, and offers his insights into the ways in which the role of the media has changed since he first began his career in the 1960s.

Throughout the film, the filmmakers offer a nuanced and thoughtful examination of the ways in which African Americans have navigated the sometimes difficult terrain of the television industry. From early pioneers like Rochester to modern-day stars like Oprah Winfrey, who is also interviewed in the film, TV in Black: The First Fifty Years is a celebration of the many contributions made by African Americans to the world of television.

Overall, TV in Black: The First Fifty Years is a fascinating and thought-provoking film that offers a deep dive into the history of African Americans on television. The film is expertly crafted and features interviews with a wide range of performers, executives, and journalists, making it a must-see for anyone interested in the history of television and the ways in which it has shaped our understanding of race and ethnicity in the United States.

TV in Black: The First Fifty Years is a 2004 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8.

Where to Watch TV in Black: The First Fifty Years
TV in Black: The First Fifty Years is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent TV in Black: The First Fifty Years for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (53)