Celebrating the 40th anniversaries of Blaxploitation films and films that starred Black actors during the Blaxploitation film genre. These films were released from January 1 – December 31, 1972 during the “Greatest Decade Ever” in Black cinematic history. Most of these movie posters are in the collection of The Museum Of UnCut Funk, with the exception of A Place Called Today, Fritz The Cat, Is The Father Black Enough and The Limit.
The Women of Blaxploitation
The Black Movie Boom of the 1970’s created jobs for young Black actresses and introduced new talents such as Pam Grier, Vonetta McGee, Gloria Henry, Tamara Dobson, Judy Pace, Esther Anderson, Paula Kelly, Carol Speed, Lisa Moore, Rosalind Cash, Jaki Demar, Rosalind Miles, Kathy Imrie, Shelia Frazier and Brenda Skyes.
Rosalind Cash was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on December 31, 1938. As a young woman, she took off with only $20 in her pocket to seek her fame and fortune in New York City. At first things were difficult: “I had a cold-water one-room apartment in Harlem sharing a kitchen I didn’t dare use because of the rats,” she told The Guardian. But Cash attended the City College of New York, and managed to ferret out the first stirrings of independent black theater in the city. She made her stage debut in 1958 in a production at the Harlem YMCA, performing in a play by Langston Hughes called Soul Gone Home.
Without question, one of the most breathtaking beauties to emerge out of the 70’s “Blaxploitation” era was actress Vonetta McGee. This lovely sister, born in San Francisco on January 14, 1945, possessed the complete package; looks, talent and determination which should have made her a marquee name in Hollywood. Instead, this tantalizing, tan, and talented lady found herself in in the land of Blaxploitation, where her some would considerable her talents were laid to waste.
Many Black actors have been faced with difficult choices and obstacles. The Bahamas-born Calvin Lockhart, who has died in 2007 was no exception. The handsome, charismatic Lockhart, who had classical acting training and who spoke French, German, Italian and Spanish, was mainly forced to take roles that he disliked.