In the 1990s, the genre of New Black Realism emerged, seeking to realistically portray the experiences of young Black men in urban environments. The themes of these Black male narratives were fused with several facets of Black youth culture influenced by hip-hop, politics, religion, and societal conditions. Similar to the movement of conscious hip-hop and the Blaxploitation genre of the early 1970s, New Black Realism films consisted of themes and solutions popularized during the Black Power Movement. While Islam became an increasingly visible feature of urban environments in the mid-twentieth century, through Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam and several orthodox Muslim groups, various Islamic undertones entered the themes of 1990s conscious hip-hop and Black male-centered films. This study critically examines the influence of Black Islamic groups on the themes and approaches to storytelling in narrative films with Black male protagonists throughout the 1990s. While the films approached Black masculinity and combating the troubles of the inner cities in a manner characteristic of many popular Black male Islamic redemption narratives, Islam was established as a highly influential Black subculture, possibly rivaling the influence of the traditional Black church.
Contemporary Islam – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 20, 2017
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