The U.S. Digs Blaxploitation!
The first Blaxploitaion film I saw was Foxy Brown. I remember begging my step father to take me to see Foxy Brown. Neither of us knew to content of the film and clearly it was not for a 12 year old to view but I had been such a huge Pam Grier fan.
I like most teenagers had photos, poster and magazine covers of her and many other Black celebrities of the time. Now I could spend the next couple of paragraphs talking about the political uproar over the stereotypes projected in these films but the truth of the matter is, like it or not, these images existed in most urban communities during the 1970’s.
What I will tell you is that there were over 200 Black action, horror and comedy films that were released between 1971 and 1976, the height of the Blaxploitation era. No matter how cheaply made or poorly acted or loaded with pimps, prostitutes, criminals, con men and the man, I loved these films. What made these films so important and relevant is that they were empowering. Empowering to a community that that faced political, finanical and social struggles of staggering porportions. These films made all the difference.