Media Watch: Flashbacks in Black and White

THE U.S. CONGRESS ISN'T LIKELY to approve reparations for black people--not this Congress, anyway--but, just now, pop culture has fallen in love with the idea. In movies, the critically laureled Far from Heaven has a restless '50s housewife fall in love with her noble black gardener. On Broadway, the musical Hairspray is wowing 'em with its perky parable of interracial love set at a teen dance party in 1962 Baltimore. On TV, NBC's American Dreams makes Dick Clark's Bandstand a focus for the conflicted feelings whites in Philadelphia had for blacks circa 1963.

The show-biz community's idea of reparation is, guess...

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