Media's Influence on Civil Rights Movement

Topics: Black people, African American, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 3 (924 words) Published: June 4, 2013
“The brutality with which official would have quelled the black individual became impotent when it could not be pursued with stealth and remain unobserved. It was caught—as a fugitive from a penitentiary is often caught—in gigantic circling spotlights. It was imprisoned in a luminous glare revealing the naked truth to the whole world” – Martin Luther King (8, Kasher)

The media controls the way the public views a controversial event. It can create the illusion that everything is perfect by leaving out important information, or can reveal the deplorable truth as the media did during the Civil Rights Movement. It was not always that way though, during the Colonial Era the media glossed over the brutality African Americans faced. It was not until the photography and recorders were invented that the media could really no longer deny the awful reality of the African Americans’ lives. With the Civil Rights Movement as an example, the media has evolved into a more reliable source. As history goes on, African Americans are being reported on more truthfully; the media has evolved into a more objective source containing more factual information. During 1700s, blacks were dehumanized and treated as animals; they cooked, gathered and did anything their master ordered. When they finally took a stance and decided to revolt they were lynched. Yet, in the eyes of the media whites were the heroes. Instead of reporting on the revolts with objectivity, the reporters commonly asserted their opinions into the articles, “In the past white news media ignored positive images of African American life” (10, Kasher). No matter what the incident was the “white man” always was superior. Through the media’s perspective, the whites were harmless and superior to the blacks. In an article from the Colonial Era when the slave revolts occurred the slaves were portrayed to be villains. The article stated, “They conspired to murder all the Christians here and by that means thinking...
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