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.

Despite its stereotypical portrayal of the African American character in film, Blaxpliotation movies started a movement that included showing a Black protagonist surrounded by fashion, music, and culture. For the first time, we saw images that looked like us, or how we wanted to look. I was 10 after all. Beautiful women, and men, fly threads, and funky music. There was something for everyone: action, comedy, westerns, martial arts, horror, and coming of age, just to name a few. These movies were the first of its kind to feature funk sound tracks which my siblings and I played repeatedly. It might be said that these films helped fuel the Black Power movement, with phrases like "Black is Beautiful", "Power to the People", etc., commonly interspersed into the dialogue of the street. Everybody wanted a big fro and hip clothes!
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. 


  1. Groovy! Caught a glimpse of Pam Grier perusing YouTube stuff... thinking of changing my pen name to Jackie Brown ��. But I remember going to the theater as kids to see us blacksploited, with the 8 kids of my mother’s best friend. I couldn’t really get into the for dealing with the shenanigans of 9 other kids passing around bags of plums.. or tomatoes. YES tomatoes. Adding Curtis Mayfield to my retro playlist now. Workout tune today: ��Superfly

    1. Haha, Jackie Brown, I love that.
      I'll add him to mine too, that's a great idea!
      This was inspired when I had a mood to watch the Cleopatra Jones movie. Still haven't done it tho....

    2. Growing up we didn't watch many blaxpoitation movies. We weren't interested; wasn't our thing. I guess we were of a different era. I guess while y'all were watching those, we were watching the American Ninja, the A-Team, or something. Hahaha.

    3. Yeah I think it was over by the time you came along young 'un!


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