This essay, Individual, Community and Black Identity in 8 Mile, stresses that the 2002 crossover hip hop movie 8 Mile offers the viewer a vivid insight into the relationships between the community and the individual underpinned by a range of race, social, cultural and economic circumstances. …
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From this paper it is clear that 8 Mile portrays life of the black community placed in the harsh social and economic conditions in Detroit of the mid-1990s, and the white protagonist living inside and interacting with this community transforms understanding of being ‘black’. The entire plot of the movie revolves around racial issues in America, but the flavor of racism can be sense not only in the traditional ‘white-against-black’ way, but also in reverse; and this reverse rejection is expressed in disrespect of B-Rabbit as a hip hop musician by the black hip hop community: “B-Rabbit, is a white rapper who overcomes the odds against him which include poverty and lack of respect as a white rapper”.This essay stresses that the character gets discriminated – surprisingly – based on his whiteness. However, the resolution of the conflict in the final battle in the Shelter gives the viewer a hint at the true understanding of blackness. At the same time, he admits his own challenged background, which probably makes him more authentically black in cultural meaning that Papa Doc. Thuswise, the movie’s representation challenges traditional ‘black’ identity depicted in media and emphasizes virtually the significant aspect of it: while whites were depicted in hip hop “as socially privileged and therefore not credible” in the genre “where credibility is often negotiated through an artist’s experiences of social struggle”.
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