According to Wikipedia.org, Blaxploitation is a film genre that emerged in the United States in the early 1970s when many exploitation films were made that targeted the urban black audience; the word itself is a portmanteau of the words "black" and "exploitation." Blaxploitation films were the first to feature soundtracks of funk and soul music. These films starred primarily black actors.
Variety magazine credited Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song with the invention of the blaxploitation genre. Others argue that the Hollywood-financed film Shaft is closer to being blaxploitation, and thus, is more likely to have begun the genre.
At the same time, the films were accused of stereotyping blacks, the audience they aimed to appeal to, as pimps and drug dealers. This dovetailed with common white stereotypes about black people, and as a result, many called for the end of the blaxploitation genre. The NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Urban League joined together to form the Coalition Against Blaxploitation. Backed by many black film professionals, this group received much media exposure and hastened the death of the genre by the late 1970s.
Blaxploitation films, such as Mandingo, laid the foundation for future filmmakers to address racial controversies regarding inner city poverty, and in the early 1990s, a new wave of acclaimed black filmmakers focused on black urban life in their films, particularly Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and John Singleton's Boyz N the Hood, among others. (wikipedia)
Do you agree the movie Shaft may have begun the genre? Although I love some of the soundtracks, I have mixed feelings about these movies... what are your thoughts?
What makes a Blaxploitation movie a blaxploitation movie? On the list above there are some titles I do not concider blaxploitation movies ex: They call me Mr. Tibbs. Also Do not see Cooley High as a blax either...
It's back! Black Dynamite, starring Michael Jai White, is a spoof of blaxploitation films of the 1970s. Its premiere was at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, where Sony Worldwide Acquisitions picked it up for distribution. A release date of October 16, 2009 has been announced on the film's official Twitter feed.
I joined our Gary on his show this past October 15 "Dusties Party" on WHPK.ORG and the show was awesome! Click on Gary's comment below to listen!
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