Nationally recognized writer, editor and producer to discuss race and television at Newhouse event
Nationally recognized writer, editor and producer to discuss race and television at Newhouse eventNovember 04, 2002Nicci Brownnicbrown@syr.edu
Nationally recognized writer, editor, producer and professor Kristal Brent Zook will join Newhouse visiting professor Richard Dubin for “A Conversation About Race and Television,” 7:30 p.m., Nov. 6 in Studio, Newhouse I. The event is free and open to the public.
Zook is the author of “Color by Fox: The Fox Network and the Revolution in Black Television,” which examines the way the newly-created Fox Network gave black writers and producers unprecedented creative leeway in the 1980s, resulting in shows such as “Living Color” and “Martin.” The book also looks at Fox’s “abandonment” of black audiences in its drive to attract more mainstream, white viewers.
Zook will share her opinions on diversity in the media and entertainment, particularly in light of the industry’s domination by large media conglomerates. “Ownership is the huge question right now,” Zook says. “I have a lot of information about new black-owned cable networks that tried to get started- African Americans want to know why they don’t own any Networks.”
Richard Dubin, a writer, producer and director who has worked with all the major U.S. television networks and has numerous studio affiliations, met Zook when she was researching “Color By Fox.” Dubin was working on the programs “Roc” and the Emmy-nominated “Frank’s Place” and Zook spoke to him about his experiences in the industry. “Kristal was not a typical hit and run interviewer,” Dubin says. “She spent considerable time on the ROC set and truly got ‘inside’ our show, its people, and the controversial swirl of business and politics that surrounded it.”
Zook is well known for her articles, which have been published in news outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Essence, The Village Voice, The L.A. Weekly, USA Weekly and Vibe. She currently lives in New York City where she teaches a course on “Alternative Voices: Reporting on Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality,” at Columbia University. Zook holds a Ph.D. in the history of consciousness (specializing in African American history, television and film theory, nationalism and feminist thought) from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her bachelor’s degree is from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
The Nov. 6 event will be the second “Conversation About Race and Television” held at the Newhouse School. Dubin, who organizes the events, says it an important opportunity for anyone interested in the communications and entertainment industry. “As conscious and contentious students and educators in the area of mass communications, we must shine light on issues of race and other ‘differences,’ ” he says. “We need to acknowledge their impact on television as a powerful and pervasive media and the consequences of that impact on our culture and national life.”