What are your thoughts on Blaxploitation films?


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.



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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 some of these movies... what are your thoughts?


I joined our very own ColoredPeople.net member Gary T. 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!

" I'm playing the soundtracks to certain films,along with classic radio spots from these movies." - Gary






Resources:

List of Blaxploitation movies I do not agree with this list. Some movies listed here are not considered Blaxploitation in my opinion.









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Comment by ColoredPeople.net on October 18, 2009 at 4:34pm
Thank you for your responses. Our perspectives are based on our experiences and understanding.
Ice Cube on a documentary mentioned that if it were not for the rap group NWA many would have had NO IDEA of what went on and goes on in the ghettos of America.

So like Ernie said, "urge them forward toward making more Black movies that explore our history, culture, music and all aspects of Blacks in America." These movies do explore an aspect of blacks in America...

I was born and raised in Brazil and my experience growing up was seeing blacks in Brazilian soaps being depicted in subservient roles or slaves in the many many soaps created around the subject matter.

My view of black Americans was that you were either thugs or professional athletes. That was my perspective as a young brazilian girl.

I now realize some of these movies portrayed the reality of a certain group in the African American experience. Personally, when I first saw Superfly character, I thought it was ridiculous and honestly never saw the entire film.

I do acknowledge these movies are classics and part of the African American cinematographic history.

I do not like profanity and do not like to see some of us act like buffoones and also do not think that some black movies labeled Blaxploitation are really blaxploitation. I do not see "They call me Mr. Tibbs" or "Cooley High" for example as blax. I am all for black movies just do not like seeing us being stereotyped as some movies have. I will not be seeing Black Dynamite which came out this October 16, 2009.



Hope I made myself clear.... ;O)
Comment by Ernie Mixon on October 18, 2009 at 7:15am
Excuse me Mr. Hosea... I thought by your first comment you did not like these films... It's the name "Blaxplotation" you have a problem with. I see, you and I are on the same side of the fence of this issue. The LA Times ran a full expose story last week on this topic which brought it to the forefront at this time. I hope Black filmakers of today fill this void regarding good quality black theme films... their is a audience out their craving for these movies ... If you make them? They will come ... I hope this types discussions get into the board rooms of Hollywood film studios and into the minds of Black filmakers which will in turn urge them forward toward making more Black movies that explore our history, culture, music and all aspects of Blacks in America. There are many stories to be told that have universal messages for all races... This is a call to all black filmakers from one guy in Los Angeles... and I m sure others may feel the same way? Start making more movies for us now! .... "We want more black pictures!" -
Comment by Hosea on October 17, 2009 at 6:16pm
Let me make myself clear, I enjoyed these so called "blaxplotations movies".
Comment by Ernie Mixon on October 17, 2009 at 11:29am
This is a very interesting topic to me. I just got off a facebook debate with various so called black intellectuals talking about how these movies were so bad etc etc very much like my friend below Mr. Hosea... whom I respect greatly as being a wise elder in our community. But as he knows.. he and I differ on some issues and I see this is one also.

My augument which I held on my own is that these black movies were in fact stereotypes of blacks and the black community at large...that much I agree on. But the minute they were labeled "Blaxplotation Movies" by Hollywood and black leading activist of their day... Dam! ... all black movies ceased to be paid!? ... Now to me, that was the beginning of the end of a black film making era in Hollywood? Now we have little or no black movies being made and what do you call that? I call it... "Black Exclusion from Hollywood!" ... hell I rather some so called Blaxatation movies and to me some of them were actually good ol fashioned "entertainment" no more no less than were we at now... hardly any black movies being made? There is a void right now for black films and black filmakers... I applaud this young brother for making a spoof movie on these so called Blaxplotation movies. I get sick and tired of black intellectuals putting down the Tyler Perrys of the world because of the characters and content of his movies... when he is in fact one of the few black producers out their brave enough to go out their and make the movies he wanted to make! and dam look at the brother now ... he's one man black movie making & black sitcom machine... employing hundreds of blacks behind and in front of the cameras. I could go on? But I m sure you got the jest of my augument? ... Now I know the intellecutuals will come on and augue that black correct political stuff i.e. characters, storylines etc... I already know? I think movies are entertainment? and all types should be made... Frankly speaking to me, after time has set in ... some of those movies were dam good! .... I go against the grain... but hey, that's how this brother rolls... what's you take on it?
Comment by Hosea on October 17, 2009 at 7:19am
Blaxplotation sounds to my ears now and then like an antebellum plantation deep within the southern minds of American's quest to deflate the minds and spirits of Blacks in America.

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