Blaxploitation is a genre of movies popularised in the 1,970s and early 80s as a response to the degrading depiction of black people in mainstream film. What made this sub-genre so important is that its main characters were black, independent, proactive, action-packed and had a disregard for authority and an overall level of cool. This was different from roles that showed black people only as support acts and victims of brutality.
As its popularity grew, blaxploitation movies were not only targeted towards its African American audience, it started to gain mainstream appeal and through this supported the betterment of race relations in America.
Despite criticism by the NAACP that the genre portrayed negative stereotypes of the black community, it was the first genre to feature soundtracks of funk and soul music, influenced a genre of film that we see today and depicted black people as heroes; thus providing a powerful message to a population that had been shown otherwise by mainstream media.
By: Ade B. ︎