Society's Influence On African American Society

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Many social groups achieved greater acceptance in the 1990s than they had in the 1950s. First of all, African Americans became more integrated into society in the later decades as they began to appear in television shows like Family Matters, a 1990’s sitcom that revolved around the wacky situations that follow an African American family. This show takes place in Chicago and the main characters include Steve Urkel, as well as Eddie, Laura, Carl, and Harriette Winslow. Harriette and Carl are the heads of the household as she works as a secretary and he as a police officer. A show like this would never exist in the 1950s; instead there were shows like I Love Lucy which focused on a nuclear family that would deal with very miniscule dilemmas. This show takes place in New York City and the…show more content…
Family Matters broke the unspoken rules that existed in 1950s television in more ways than just having an all African American cast. They also portrayed characters to have a certain degree of insanity. For instance, in the episode “She’s Back” of Family Matters , a teenage girl named Myrtle is characterized with an irrational obsession with one of the main characters, Eddie Winslow. Myrtle stalks Eddie everywhere he goes and even tampers with the shampoo of Eddie’s girlfriend, causing all of her hair to fall out. A character like this would never be seen on I Love Lucy as no one wanted to see or hear about anything so abnormal as a mental illness. By incorporating African Americans and mental illness into the show, Family Matters shows how far America has come compared to where it had been, in terms of social acceptance, when the conservative I Love Lucy show was on the air. Although the acceptance of things that were once deemed unpleasant is one of the biggest changes from the 1950s to the 1990s, it was one of
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