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PIONEERS OF TELEVISION: Breaking Barriers

This episode traces the story of people of color on American television — including the mid-1960s breakthroughs of African Americans Diahann Carroll (JULIA) and Bill Cosby (I SPY). Latino landmarks range from I LOVE LUCY with Desi Arnaz to MIAMI VICE with Edward James Olmos. Also featured are Asian-Americans like George Takei (STAR TREK), who details his youth spent in a Japanese internment camp.

Bill Cosby does standup in the early 1960s.

Bill Cosby does standup in the early 1960s.

Credit: Courtesy of Library of Congress

Bill Cosby in his first sitcom THE BILL COSBY SHOW.

Bill Cosby in his first sitcom THE BILL COSBY SHOW.

Credit: Courtesy of Library of Congress

Diahann Carroll as Julia, TV’s first African-American woman in a a non-servant role.

Diahann Carroll as Julia, TV’s first African-American woman in a a non-servant role.

Credit: Courtesy of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION archives

George Takei in his iconic role as Hikaru Sulu in the original STAR TREK series.

George Takei in his iconic role as Hikaru Sulu in the original STAR TREK series.

Credit: Courtesy of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION archives

George Takei along with Bob Fuller and Barbara Luna in "The Hour of the Bath" episode of ALCOA PREMIERE in 1962.

George Takei along with Bob Fuller and Barbara Luna in "The Hour of the Bath" episode of ALCOA PREMIERE in 1962.

Credit: Courtesy of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION archives

Internment camp in California where George Takei (STAR TREK) was held as a young boy.

Internment camp in California where George Takei (STAR TREK) was held as a young boy.

Credit: Courtesy Library of Congress