Blaxploitation refers to a film genre developed in the United States in the early 1970s. The films in this genre tended to feature broad stereotypes of African-American culture, and were mostly written and directed by white men. The films were nonetheless immensely popular among black audiences, possibly because they were among a very few movies which dealt primarily with black men and women, bringing them to the foreground, and because they had endings which were generally favorable to the central character. When set in the North, blaxploitation films tended to take place in the ghetto and deal with pimps, drug dealers, and hit men; when set in the South, the movies most often took place on a plantation and dealt with slavery and miscegenation. Almost all of them featured exaggerated sexuality and violence.
The Coalition Against Blaxploitation (consisting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Urban League, as well as many black film professionals) formed in reaction to the films, and received much media exposure. Some film scholars defend the movies today, arguing that the genre was instrumental in allowing African-Americans greater screen presence, as well as greater latitude in "mainstream" film-making as actors, directors, and writers. The genre died out before the end of the 1970s.
Famous blaxploitation films include:
- Passion Plantation