By Novotny Lawrence

Through the early years of the movie undefined, black performers have been usually depicted as shuckin’ and jivin’ caricatures. particularly, black men have been portrayed as toms, coons and dollars, whereas the mammy and tragic mulatto archetypes circumscribed black femininity. This misrepresentation started to switch within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties whilst performers similar to Dorothy Dandridge and Sidney Poitier have been forged in additional confident roles. those performers prepared the ground for the black exploitation or blaxploitation flow, which started in 1970 and flourished till 1975. The flow is characterised by way of motion pictures that characteristic a black hero or heroine, black assisting characters, a predominately black city environment, a demonstrate of black sexuality, over the top violence, and a latest rhythm and blues soundtrack. Blaxploitation motion pictures have been made throughout various genres, however the questionable components of a few of the images triggered them to be known as "blaxploitation" motion pictures with very little regard given to their regular categorization. This ebook examines how Cotton involves Harlem (1970), Blacula (1972), The Mack (1973), and Cleopatra Jones (1973) could be labeled in the detective, horror, gangster, and cop motion genres, respectively, and illustrates the way during which the inclusion of "blackness" represents an important revision to the aforementioned genres.

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Additional info for Blaxploitation Films of the 1970's: Blackness and Genre (Studies in African American History and Culture)

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The story centers on a bigoted white man who wakes up one morning to find that he has turned black and chronicles his daily activities as he experiences what it is like to live as an African American. Man was successful; however, it was a comedy. Understanding the hostile and tense racial climate in the United States, as well as the way that blacks had been traditionally depicted in Hollywood films, Van Peebles decided that he wanted his next film to make a serious revolutionary statement: “I wanted a victorious film.

During the Civil Rights Movement, organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) struggled with the idea of including white volunteers in the effort. In The Struggle for Black Equality, Harvard Sitkoff relates that while organizing the 1964 Freedom Summer voter-registration campaign, representatives from SNCC and CORE were split on the idea of the role of whites in the movement (158). While some felt that the inclusion of whites indicated an admission of weakness by blacks, others felt that it was important to include whites because integration was a major goal of the fight (Sitkoff 158–59).

40 Blaxploitation Films of the 1970s Davis’s prediction was accurate, as the movie, which featured the tagline, “Two Detectives Only a Mother Could Love,” performed well at the box office. In its first week in release, Cotton grossed $90,000 and appeared twenty-third on Variety’s list of top films (“50 Top,” Variety, 10 June 1970: 13). Its success continued as it earned $152,000 in its second week and produced more revenue in the following weeks (“50 Top,” Variety, 17 June 1970: 9). It finally reached its highest ranking on Variety’s list of top films in its seventh week of release when it grossed $428,500 and placed second behind Universal’s Airport (“50 Top,” Variety, 22 July 1970: 11).

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