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The Great American Melting Pot Essay

726 words - 3 pages

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THE GREAT AMERICAN MELTING POTThe Great American Melting PotStudentSchoolIn the BeginningDiversity in the media began in the 1960's with the television series, Star Trek. The different races found on various planets represented the diversity of cultures present on our own planet. The mainstream media really began to focus on the multiculturalism within the United States, though, in the 1970's. The Civil Rights movement was well underway, feminism was gaining popularity, and during that period the media opened itself and us to a much wider diversity of cultures at a nearly frenetic pace. Shows depicting people of all races, ethnic backgrounds, colors, and creeds began to appear on television, on radio, even in cartoons.We've Come a Long WayBeginning in 1973 and running 12 years to 1985, a program called Schoolhouse Rock took on over 40 subjects and made the act of teaching into entertainment for kids and adults. The series began with mathematics and grammar, and then moved on to some of the larger issues of the day, such as politics, the national debt, and the application of income tax. In 1976, the creators of Schoolhouse Rock began working on a series designed to highlight and celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the United States. That series, called America Rock, included topics such as Westward Expansion, the Declaration of Independence, and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Among the works in this series was one called, The Great American Melting Pot. This has been called, "…one of the show's finest songs" ( The Great American Melting Pot (TGAMP) cartoon opens with an image of the singer's Grandma, who came from Russia and had a Polish background. Her Grandfather came from Italy, and both came to America, where they melted right into a multicultural society.In describing the ethnic backgrounds of the people who came to America, TGAMP addressed the diversity represented in the American landscape. However, the cartoon relied on stereotypes to portray the different cultures ( The Chinese were represented by a kid with nearly closed eyes and large, buck teeth. The English and Germans wore period costumes, frilly hats, and carried swords, representing the conquerors. Blacks were portrayed by an individual...

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