The Department of Radio-Television-Film celebrates the launch of Assistant Professor Adrien Sebro’s new book, Scratchin’ and Survivin’: Hustle Economics and the Black Sitcoms of Tandem Productions. Please join us for his talk about the book, followed by a reception.
Scratchin’ and Survivin’: Hustle Economics and the Black Sitcoms of Tandem Productions is a production history and study of Black labor in the Black sitcoms of Tandem Productions; Sanford and Son (1972-1977), Good Times (1974-1979), and The Jeffersons (1975-1985). These sitcoms challenged subjective producers’ control of 1970s television. Focusing on these Black sitcoms, Scratchin’ and Survivin’ engages the intersections of performance, production, politics, and reception to consider how this array of Black sitcoms intervened in both the history of television and in a re-articulation of Black identity in the early 1970s. With close attention to race, socioeconomics, gender, and politics, the sitcoms of Tandem had their own distinct style in depicting Black American life on screen. What is rarely discussed in the history Tandem is the Black artists (actors, writers, assistants, etc.) and the “hustle economics” they engaged in while becoming television auteurs within a space that wasn’t built for them. “Hustle economics” exists as a negotiation of Black labor in front of and behind the screen. Indeed, the production of these sitcoms called for various forms of creative agency and labor resilience that transformed the television industry, and Scratchin’ and Survivin’ brings attention to the Black artists who were a part of these transformative acts.
Start Date: November 16 @ 3:30pm
End Date: November 16 @ 5:30pm
Event Categories: Lecture
Location: DMC 5.208
Website: RTF Media Studies Colloquium series
Target audience: Alumni , Faculty , General Public , Staff , Students