McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Leticia Williams

Williams.JPG

Major and Classification

Broadcast Journalism

Faculty Mentor

  • Sarah Banet Weiser, Ph.D.

Department

  • Communication

McNair Project

"From Black and White to Color: Racial Representation in Children's Animated Television"

This study analyzes racial representation in children's animated programs on cable television. It is based on content analysis of the cast of programs on Disney and Nickelodeon that target children. Data was gathered from the network's websites, and other credible online sources, including TV Tome. The goal of the study was to evaluate the cartoon surge of the 21st Century to assess the role of children's television in increasing racial representation and visibility for young children ages 3-8. Results are consistent with those of previous research for prime time television and film, which found evidence of stereotypical portrayals of African American and Latino characters, and limited visibility for minority characters. However, although these programs included stereotypical representations of minority characters, they also presented an opportunity to increase children's awareness and knowledge about issues of race and diversity in our culture.