After watching and discussing White Like Me I really started thinking about black representation in media. While in present media culture there is a lot more black representation, there is still this notion that it is for, or fits into, white mainstream media culture. For example, I was thinking about the tokenism behind black characters in most of the popular network tv shows. While there may be black representation, tv casts remain primarily white, hence the phrase “token black person” being talked about in media. Shows like New Girl, The Office, Parks and Rec etc all have very large casts that feature only one, maybe two black people or people of color.
Media consumers may think networks are diverse and progressive, but aside from networks like BET, which feature tv shows and films that are almost exclusively black, there is little to no representation of minorities and black characters in popular series. There are no outlets like Inside Bed Stuy or Black Journal that offer a greater variety of black perspectives or news outlets. Black tokenism is masking the inherent racism that our media culture has and the underrepresentation, or misrepresentation that comes from popular network tv.