Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Frank Beaver, author of Dictionary of Film Terms , defines blaxploitation as “commercially minded films made to appeal specifically to the interests of black audiences” (p. 37). The origin of the term is credited to then-President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Beverly Hills chapter, Junius Griffin, who deemed the genre of movies geared toward African Americans as blaxploitation—that is, exploitative toward Black Americans. Melvin Van Peebles' Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) is credited with opening the door for many Black-themed movies that would later become known as blaxploitation. From the period of 1970 to 1975, more than 200 blaxploitation movies were made, in genres ranging from horror, westerns, comedy, drama, and by far the most popular subgenre, action. In discussing blaxploitation, African American cultural critics aptly point to stereotyping as the most pervasive and damaging effects of the movies as well as the lack of ...