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Why did images of white, nuclear families dominate television in the 1950s? Why has it taken nearly 70 years for images of a diverse America—featuring people of color, immigrants, women as independent social beings—to appear on prime time television?  Challenging the longstanding belief that what appeared on television screens in the 1950s and after resulted from some social consensus, The Broadcast 41 addresses these and other questions by telling two intersecting stories. The first story documents the heterogeneous perspectives of a generation of progressive women who had been…

Pianist Hazel Scott was a child prodigy--a gifted pianist and performer; a talented actress; and a civil rights leader, whose landmark lawsuit against a restaurant in Pasco, Washington that refused to serve her. According to historian Dwayne Mack, Scott’s victory not only helped African Americans challenge racial discrimination in Spokane, but that it inspired civil rights organizations “to pressure the Washington state legislature to enact the Public Accommodations Act” in 1953.[fn]Dwayne Mack, “Hazel Scott: A…