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NCJ Number: 168078 Find in a Library
Title: Black Cops and Black Villains in Film and TV Crime Fiction (From Crime and the Media: The Post-Modern Spectacle, P 67-77, 1995, David Kidd-Hewitt and Richard Osborne, eds. -- See NCJ- 168074)
Author(s): J Pines
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Pluto Press
London, N6 5AA, England
Sale Source: Pluto Press
345 Archway Rd
London, N6 5AA,
United Kingdom
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper analyzes and critiques the portrayal of black cops and black criminals in film and television crime fiction.
Abstract: In both British and, to a lesser extent, American TV police/crime shows, black villains are stereotypically linked to drug dealing, violent street crime, and prostitution; black cop "heroes" tend to be presented as noble figures whose mission is to clean up the criminalized black neighborhoods. There are no flawed black cops, notable white-collar black villains, "sophisticated" black corporate gangsters and raiders, or computer-based defrauders in the urban crime drama. There are no complex villains and heroes, only emblematic figures. The issue is whether TV police/crime drama opens up new possibilities in representing blacks within mainstream generic conventions, or whether it can only reinforce existing racist imagery, only in a stylish and seductive manner. The author acknowledges that he is inclined toward the latter view. He argues that the tendency to portray blacks in stereotypical police and villain roles should be challenged and its relevance questioned, both critically and as production practices. The possibility of presenting more interesting and complex uses of the crime genre should be examined further, especially in relation to the wider diversity of black and white experiences, expectations, desires, and fantasies. 9 notes and references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Media coverage; Media violence; Media-crime relationships; Minority police; Race-crime relationships; Television programming
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