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Color Adjustment (1992)

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Analyzes the evolution of television's earlier, unflattering portrayal of blacks from 1948 until 1988, when they are depicted as prosperous and as having achieved the American dream, a ... See full summary »


(as Marlon T. Riggs)


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Title: Color Adjustment (1992)

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Credited cast:
Alvin F. Poussaint ...
Herself (as Daphne Maxwell-Reid)


Analyzes the evolution of television's earlier, unflattering portrayal of blacks from 1948 until 1988, when they are depicted as prosperous and as having achieved the American dream, a portrayal that is inconsistent with reality. Black actors Esther Rolle, Diahann Carroll, Denise Nicholas, and Tim Reid and Hollywood producers Norman Lear, Steve Bochco, and David Wolper reveal the behind-the-scenes story of how prime time was "integrated." Revisiting the programs "Beulah," "The Nat King Cole Show," "Julia," "I Spy," "Good Times," and "Roots," viewers see how bitter racial conflict was absorbed into non-controversial series. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <>

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Release Date:

29 January 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Color Adjustment: Blacks in Prime Time  »

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User Reviews

An insightful documentary that is hindered by its fire and brimstone rhetoric
23 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The documentary provides the spectator with an insightful look at the representation of African Americans in TV. However, the message is a bit convoluted, at times it seems like the doc wants to prove that there is progress in African American representation. But, the excess usage of over-sentimental and soap opera like music and the random juxtaposition of the apathy of Americans to the civil rights movement hinders such message in that it seems as if it is the end of the world. That the progress since after the civil war is not satisfying enough for the African American community. In the end, messages of real progress is lost in its fire and brimstone rhetoric. By the end of the doc, the audience is left with the feeling of the UN-appreciation of African Americans towards progress of their representation in television.

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