Technicolored: Reflections on Race in the Time of TV
by Ann duCille
“Demonstrating Ann duCille’s tremendous knowledge, academic expertise, and life experience, Technicolored furthers our understanding of race and representation through the medium of television. And just as significant, the story of her striving black, working-class family in a small New England town provides a depiction of blackness that is rarely represented in popular culture. Technicolored is a clearly written, insightful, and entertaining work.”-Farah Jasmine Griffin, author of Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics during World War II
Black feminist critic Ann duCille combines cultural critique with personal reflections on growing up with TV as a child in the Boston suburbs to examine how televisual representations of African Americans—ranging from "I Love Lucy" to "How to Get Away with Murder"—have changed over the last sixty years.
From early sitcoms such as "I Love Lucy" to contemporary prime-time dramas like "Scandal" and "How to Get Away with Murder," African Americans on television have too often been asked to portray tired stereotypes of blacks as villains, vixens, victims, and disposable minorities. In Technicolored black feminist critic Ann duCille combines cultural critique with personal reflections on growing up with the new medium of TV to examine how televisual representations of African Americans have changed over the last sixty years. Whether explaining how watching Shirley Temple led her to question her own self-worth or how televisual representation functions as a form of racial profiling, duCille traces the real-life social and political repercussions of the portrayal and presence of African Americans on television. Neither a conventional memoir nor a traditional media study, Technicolored offers one lifelong television watcher's careful, personal, and timely analysis of how television continues to shape notions of race in the American imagination.
Ann duCille is Emerita Professor of English at Wesleyan University and author of Skin Trade and The Coupling Convention: Sex, Text, and Tradition in Black Women's Fiction.