Jackson’s argument is related to the statements made in The Freshest Kids because of the construction of whiteness, which discriminates against Black culture, devalues and ignores the true meaning of Hip Hop on the basis that it is a Black movement. Through the gaze and the construction of whiteness, Hip Hop loses its place amongst American society because it is negatively tied to African culture and is seen as worthless. However, even when American society starts to acknowledge the existence of Hip Hop, primarily white Americans only look at the physical aspect and become ignorant towards the true meaning; doing a disservice to Hip Hop and African culture. Jackson’s argument holds true and is relatable to The Freshest Kids because both of these sources show how the African and Hip Hop cultures were undermined and seen through only a single lens.
The concept of a black white binary being synonymous with civilization and savagery is a deeply rooted form of epistemic violence in the United States. These generalizations and stereotypes are traced in Constructing Whiteness by Teresa J. Guess and Origin of Black Body Politics. While the idea of whiteness in the United States has been socially constructed as the cultural norm, blackness (African American culture) tends to be considered inferior and savage. African Americans and their cultural innovations are often observed by white people with “the gaze.” The gaze is a surface level method of observation that “suggests…the presence of another” (Origins, 10). This allows white people to generalize practices like breakdancing as a black practice, carrying a negative connotation. UNTIL ADOPTED, APPROPRIATED, NORMALIZED. America’s history of dehumanizing the black community ...
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... the Hip Hop culture belonged in the “in group” and encouraged national acceptance and appreciation.
In The Freshest Kids, the moments of battling represented the fundamental aspects of breaking culture and the cultural modes of discourse. Ciphers formed around a b-boy or b-girl who acted on the call and response between the other members of the cipher. Breaking in the documentary always involved a circular formation concentric where the audience becomes an observer and participant. More specifically tying into multi layered totalizing response, participants in the cypher like Crazy Legs experienced a physical and emotional communication, where everyone was focused on one performer. My favorite scenes in The Freshest Kids were the battles between the breakers. Battling is imperative to the survival of breaking because the height of creativity is produced in battling
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