- Self esteem building
- Roots of misunderstandings between different ethnic & cultural groups.
- Overton played the Sidney Poitier role in the TV version of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
- Non violence
- Cultural acceptance
- Discussion on sensitive issues, related to race, religion, politics; sexuality
- Current events in the media
Bill Overton, actor, activist, has amassed thousands of illustrations which shaped and promoted negative stereotypes of African Americans and other minority groups.
What you may not know is that the media has been influencing American thought for more than 100 years.
“The Media Shaping the Image of a People” is an eclectic portrayal on the media’s influence in creating many modern day stereotypes. The images clearly illustrate the social, racial and political climate of the time.
Bill’s depicting the issues of race, ethnicity, politics and religion in America and beyond as presented by the media during the past 150 years. Overton has amassed over one hundred historical illustrations which helped promote both positive and negative images of many ethnic groups. The collection fosters lifelong learning that provides insight into the cultural biases of our country before, during and after the Civil War.
The unique collection of 19th Century images are presented in a sensitive and enlightening way, which encourages honest discussion on sensitive issues, related to race, religion, politics; sexuality and current events in the media.
Overton’s objective is to educate through the illustrations about how ethnic groups were and are represented in the media. Moving through our history to achieve balance, his aim is for all of us to walk away with an abundance of knowledge and positive motivation.
You will examine the power of the media, in creating positive or negative images, which will carry impressions for all of us?
As an example, successful politicians and athletes should have a positive strategy to enhance your image in dealing with the media and the public.
A positive image can make a career and a negative image can destroy a career, embarrass and or anger corporate sponsors and fans.
When you examine the following list what images do you perceive?
Kobe Bryant, athlete
Muhammad Ali, athlete
Mike Tyson, athlete
Terrell Owens, athlete
John Rocker, athlete
Jose Conseco, athlete
Reggie White, athlete
Tiger Woods, athlete
Lance Armstrong, athlete
Phil Jackson, coach
Michael Jordan, athlete
Marion Jones athlete
Overton presents a stimulating and interactive forum for exploring the effects of these images on our psyche and the impact that they continue to have today. As he speaks on how these very same images helped shape public opinion and continue to mold our opinions today.
From the beginning of human civilization, the media – presented in cave drawings, ancient art, and literary works – have culturally shaped how humans view themselves and the world.
Overton significantly contributes to our appreciation of the media’s profound effect on individuals in all societies.
Today, the abundance of books, newspapers, radio and television programming, movies, and the electronic revolution that created the Internet has made the media so powerful and ubiquitous that they have become our primary source of information about the world and its inhabitants.
Whether one is conscious of it or not, media both reflects and shapes the cultural perspective of every one of us. It is impossible for any person to escape the media’s influence on their attitudes, practices, and habits . . .
Bill Overton shares a piece of history; part of the heroic past of America’s earlier inhabitants. These illustrations, accompanied by poignant historical quotes, give a glimpse of Americans’ formidable journeys, the obstacles they overcame, and the dignity they maintained under the worst circumstances.
Overton’s effort serves as a touchstone to help us appreciate not only how much we have moved forward, but how much farther we must go in promoting media images that are evenhanded and bolster the worth of all people.
Some celebrities and notables: The Media Shaping the Image of a People
Bill Clinton, President
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator, Secretary of State
Diane Watson, Congresswoman
Magic Johnson Family
Stevie Wonder Family
Laura Bush, First Lady
Dick Cheney, Vice President
Rod Paige, Secretary of Education
John Conyers, Congressman
Jesse Jackson, Reverend
Johnnie L. Cochran
Dr. Jerry Buss
Lerone Bennett Jr.
“Keep up the good work!” Rod Paige, Secretary of Education
The Media: Shaping the Image of a People was great – from
sketch to photo, from cover to cover, I loved it.”
Michael D. Eisner, Chairman & CEO, The Walt Disney Company
“Thank you with my whole heart for The Media: Shaping the Image of a People. Thank you for your love to package this history and give it to the world so that we can see who we are.” Dr. Maya Angelou
“As mankind progresses in a new millennium, we still find ourselves impacted by issues of race and ethnicity. Bill Overton expertly explores these areas in a creative and compelling manner. In the end, you are forced to conclude that despite our notable differences we have much more in common as the human race.” Martin Luther King III
“Overton’s body of work serves as a touchstone to help us appreciate not only how much we have moved forward, but how much farther we must go in promoting media images that are evenhanded and bolster the worth of all people.” Poussaint, MD., Professor of Psychiatry,
Harvard Medical School
Books by Bill Overton