You just handle the justice, and I'll handle the revenge myself. - Foxy Brown (Blaxploitation motion picture)
Blaxploitation films were the first times we saw ourselves as heroes in movies.
Gordon Parks, monopolizing his established career as a photographer, and whose work was regularly featured in Vogue and Life magazines, directed Shaft, one of the best known of the Blaxploitation genre which was followed by Shaft's Big Score and Shaft in Africa.
His son, Gordon Parks, Jr. directed SuperFly (the original of the currently running remake starring Trevor Jackson of Grownish fame). His career was cut short when he was killed in a plane crash in Africa seven years later. The Superfly soundtrack put musician Curtis Mayfield on the map as one of the most influential artists of the era, the album considered one of the 500 greatest of all time by Rolling Stone. If you were into soundtracks it was impossible not to know who he was.
There were also several films with female starring roles: Coffy (Pam Grier), Foxy Brown (Pam Grier) and my personal favorite Cleopatra Jones (with one sequel, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold), played by six feet two-inch-tall Tamara Dobson. Prior to her acting and modeling career, Dobson held a degree in fashion illustration and it was rumored she designed all her character's outfits, in actuality it was Giorgio di Sant'Angelo. She died in 2006 of complications of pneumonia and multiple sclerosis at 59.