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, 1974 during the “Greatest Decade Ever” in Black cinematic history.
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.
In 2002, Will Smith and his production company bought the rights to Sidney Poitier’s Uptown Saturday Night.
Pressbooks were created to provide theater owners with the information and materials needed to promote a given film. Pressbooks contained information on the actors, illustrations of film posters, newspaper ad slicks, movie notes, tie-in ideas and other promotional materials including ready-made film reviews.
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.
Born in 1927, Sidney Poitier grew up in the small village of Cat Island, Bahamas. His father, a tomato farmer, moved the family to the capital Nassau, when Poitier was eleven. It was there that he first encountered cinema.
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.
If you want to ease the minds of film fans about a remake you’re working on, just compare it to Ocean’s 11. That’s what Will Smith did back in 2002 when his production company bought the rights to Sidney Poitier’s Uptown Saturday Night with plans to do an all-star Black update on the 1974 classic that originally paired up Poitier and Bill Cosby.