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Starring Mandela and Cosby : Media and the End(s) of Apartheid (Paperback)

Author: Krabill, Ron

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Product Overview

During the worst years of apartheid, the most popular show on television in South Africa---among both Black and White South Africans---was The Cosby Show. Why did people living under a system built on the idea that Black people were inferior and threatening flock to a show that portrayed African Americans as comfortably mainstream? Starring Mandela and Cosby takes up this paradox, revealing the surprising impact of television on racial politics.

The South African government maintained a ban on television until 1976, and according to Ron Krabill, they were right to be wary of its potential power. The medium, he contends, created a shared space for communication in a deeply divided nation that seemed destined for civil war along racial lines. At a time when it was illegal to publish images of Nelson Mandela, Bill Cosby became the most recognizable Black man in the country, and, Krabill argues, his presence in the living rooms of White South Africans helped lay the groundwork for Mandela's release and ascension to power.

Weaving together South Africa's political history and a social history of television, Krabill challenges conventional understandings of globalization, offering up new insights into the relationship between politics and the media.

"Ron Krabill has provided students of race, television, and cultural exchange with a new landmark that we all must read---and will all enjoy. In an era when we are told that race should not matter, TV is finished, and cultural exchange has been eased through YouTube, he brings us back to reality. Bravo!" University of California, Riverside

"This pathbreaking study of television in Apartheid South Africa is at once a fascinating history and a penetrating exploration of how race, media, and globalization shape politics and culture in sometimes counterintuitive ways. It should change both the way we think about South Africa's past and how we study the political dynamics of media in the present." Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School

"This is a wonderfully fluid, fluent, and extraordinarily well-written analysis. Krabill has immersed himself in his story, and he provides a theoretically refreshing way of telling it. He senses the contextual experiential nuance and the local-global texture of events as they unfolded, and by locating his narrative within the analytical nexus between Mandela and Cosby, the United States and South Africa, he appeals to readers across disciplines." University of KwaZulu-Natal

Specifications

Publisher Univ of Chicago Pr
Mfg Part# 9780226451893
SKU 214701907
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0226451895
Release Date 9/1/2010
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0199
Publisher University of Chicago Press
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