Thursday, August 3, 2017

Alt-American History (X)



The process to end slavery in the United States formally began with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863. The actual impact of slavery hasn’t observed such convenient finality; the debate over the “peculiar institution” — how and how much it affects our 21st century lives — rages today, and popular culture has hardly escaped.

The announcements of two ambitious television projects with American slavery at or near their core have jump-started the national outrage machine (masquerading these days as the Internet). ...

For Robert J. Thompson, a student of the Gordian knot of television’s impact on society and society’s impact on television, this fascination with alt-black American history is more than just TV chasing the shiny object of the moment.

“If we’re talking about African American identity as a broad thing, we’ve been seeing a lot more of that in the last decade partially because there are so many more places for it,” said Thompson, Trustee Professor of Television and Popular Culture at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. ...

Read the full story at The Omnibus

Image credit: From CSA: The Confederate States of America (The Weiunstein Company/IFC Films

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