African-American Involvement In Blaxploitation Films

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Throughout the 70s, innovative and impactful movies featuring heavy African-American involvement hit the scene of thousands of theaters across the United States. The overall positive perception of Blaxploitation films provided many opportunities for black involvement in America’s entertainment industry that Hollywood failed to provide. Audiences positively perceived things that were not brought to light in the white dominated entertainment industry such as, new stereotype defying roles, uplifting messages, and the exposure of different communities and their issues. Blaxploitation was a result from African-Americans having a very strong desire to “see themselves empowered” in films (Christian). This genre of 70s cinema, were mostly set …show more content…

All of these unique factors in one production helped Blaxploitation films to combat the mainstream movies that led audiences to perceive black people negatively. These unique factors of Blaxploitation, made the genre popular, because they created and displayed to audiences new stories where the blacks did not “always ended up dead”, according to famous Blaxploitation filmmaker and actor, Martin Van Peebles (Christian). They displayed taboo actions and roles for the mainstream false image of the African-American, which many audiences yearned for. Blaxploitation hit its decline Towards the 80s, as the demand for more films featuring heavier black involvement in non-stereotypical roles decreased…. there was need for Blaxploitation after a while because it jumpstarted more black involvement in Hollywood, Hollywood was noticing there …show more content…

Sweetback was extremely revolutionary and unique for its time, because most of the film’s aspects such as directing, production, writing, acting, editing, and music were done by a black man by the name of Marvin Van Peebles, opening audiences across America’s minds to black creativity and production. Van Peebles combated mainstream Hollywood, by focusing in black audiences and dedicating the film to “all the Brothers and Sisters who had enough of the man” (Sweetback). “The man”, refers to the white man or the white community (Sweetback). Van Peebles had several methods to fulfill dedicating the film to “all the Brothers and Sisters”. His first method was primarily casting black actors and non-professional, ordinary blacks from a community near the set, he even credits “The Black Community” in the beginning. By doing this, Marvin Van Peebles created a type of inclusivity that Hollywood did not provide for African-Americans. His second method was the uniqueness, trope-defying factor of the plot. In Van Peebles plot, main character, Sweetback is constantly pursued by the white police force after he beats two police officers for assaulting a Black Panther member already under arrest. Each time the police make an attempt to capture Sweetback, they fail, which defies

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