Good morning America (Television program). [2009--excerpts], Black & White Now: Race in America


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Created: 2009

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Good morning America (Television program). [2009--excerpts], Black & White Now: Race in America
Summary: "The start of 2009 marked a pivotal breakthrough in race relations within the United States. President Obama's historic inauguration not only changed the face of national politics, but also compelled Americans to question their own feelings about race and identity. On Tuesday, March 31, 'Good Morning America' launched a 3-part series entitled 'Black & White Now: Race in America,' which examined the transformation of racial identity over the past 10 years. The 'GMA' team conducted three investigative field studies to discover how far the nation has come.

"The first segment was modeled after the groundbreaking Clark Doll Experiment of1939. Like the original, black children were asked a series of questions about their perception of black and white dolls. The kids were asked which doll was good and which was bad, which doll was prettier, which doll they wanted to play with, and which one they identified with. 'GMA' found that significant progress has been made since the original studies were conducted. 88% of the African American children happily identified with the dark-skinned doll, but there is still room for improvement. The final question spoke volumes: How many of these children, in the new age of Barack Obama, believed they could one day be president, too? The answer: all of them.

"The segment from Wednesday, April 1 centered on an issue made famous by Danny Glover. 10 years ago, the actor confronted the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, stating that 5 drivers refused service because of the color of his skin. 'Good Morning America' took to the streets with a mounted hidden camera on Chris Darden, a well know African American prosecutor, as he tried to hail numerous cabs throughout the city. Darden was easily able to hail a taxi in broad daylight, but once the sun went down it took three tries for a cab to finally pick him up. The next test paired two men, one black and one white, as they hailed more than 40 cabs while standing in close distance. Both had no problems during the day, but as night came the first taxi passed the black man to pick up the white man. The same incident occurred 3 out of 10 times that evening.

"The final segment from Thursday, April 2 revisited a conversation between co-anchors Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer that was held 10 years ago in Mobile, Alabama. Each anchor sat down with a group of young children to discuss how race affected their everyday lives. Diane's children were all white and Robin's were all African-American. The white children from 10 years ago equated violence and crime with the black community, while the African-American children feared that they would be targeted by the white community. The 2009 conversations were arranged in the same way, only in the anchors' hometowns of Pass Christian, Mississippi, and Louisville, Kentucky. The most obvious change was that the kids didn't even acknowledge the need to discuss skin color. When asked why people might still want to discuss race, one African American girl replied, 'Because they're, they're so happy it's not like that anymore!' The kids insisted they have friendships with people from all backgrounds, which stood in stark contrast to the racial divide noticed 10 years ago."--2009 Peabody Awards entry form.

Corporate Producers: ABC News | ABC Television Network

Persons Appearing: Robin Roberts (Anchor) | Diane Sawyer (Anchor) | Dan Harris (Correspondent)

Broadcast Date: 2009-03-31 -- 2009-04-02