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Master's Thesis from the year 2017 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 9, Leiden University, language: English, abstract: This thesis raises and addresses the intellectually challenging and socially relevant question why three recent films and a hip hop album that are often associated with the Black Lives movement (BLM) feature black heterosexual male heroes while the BLM movement itself was founded by Queer women and has an explicit LBGT agenda. The thesis shows solid knowledge of the historical context and the existing scholarly, theoretical and public debates, and offers an…mehr

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Master's Thesis from the year 2017 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 9, Leiden University, language: English, abstract: This thesis raises and addresses the intellectually challenging and socially relevant question why three recent films and a hip hop album that are often associated with the Black Lives movement (BLM) feature black heterosexual male heroes while the BLM movement itself was founded by Queer women and has an explicit LBGT agenda. The thesis shows solid knowledge of the historical context and the existing scholarly, theoretical and public debates, and offers an interesting and very original contribution to these debates. It is based on an impressive amount of research and the research methodology, applying gender and race theory to cultural and film analysis, is explicitly named. The movement gained great popularity not only with hashtag-users and participants in protests, but it was also immediately picked up by the media and in public debates, while numerous variations of the slogan emerged to either mock or hijack the movement. The media attention can be divided into three different kinds: reports about the movement in connection to the police shootings, reports about protests and current incidents, and a wider field in which BLM was connected to the cultural scene in the US from 2012 to the present, which will be referred to as the cultural discourse. Part of this cultural discourse are Steve McQueen's movie 12 Years A Slave (2013), Ava DuVernay's movie Selma (2014) and Nate Parker's movie The Birth of a Nation (2016), all three historical dramas, as well as Kendrick Lamar's album To Pimp A Butterfly (2015). All four cultural productions were directly connected to BLM by the media. They were brought up in discussions about and within the movement, and, even though BLM was initially created in response to racially motivated police brutality, the three movies also triggered debates about other cultural and societal issues, such as the acknowledgment and representation of Black directors and actors in US cinema. Although Lamar's album provided the anthem of the movement, "Alright", and addresses police brutality in the other songs as well, it also uses a number of common rap themes, treating women, for instance, from a male-centered and at first glance misogynist perspective. Especially when we look at other Hip Hop artists connected to BLM as well, it becomes clear that the pop-cultural narrative that is associated with BLM is actually about black heterosexual men.

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