The whole thang part four
Blax Chart Hits
I WAS THERE & I SAW THE WHOLE
THANG - PART FOUR
Ankhamen from Saint Louis, Missouri
PART FOUR - BLAXPLOITATION ??? SAYS WHO ????
Says who ???
By the time I ETSed (Expired Time of Service) from the United States Army in
October 1978, the Black-action-movie-genre was a thing of the past & a new
word, Blaxploitation, had been coined into the English language.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word was coined in 1972 & it
is a blend of the alteration of blacks + exploitation. Merriam-Webster
defines it as the exploitation of blacks by producers of black-oriented
In retrospect, as I lived through the phenomena, I never heard the word
kicked around the movie theaters in Saint Louis, Missouri. Even though my
direct, peripheral contact with the genre ended at the end of September
1973; I was indirectly in contact between 1973-1975 via my childhood best
friend & fellow 'Vice Lord' who had been promoted to Head Usher. My
bloodbrother took me to work with him & gave me the 411 about the movies &
everything noteworthy happening in the STL during my infrequent, periodic
vacations ... before he joined the United States Air Force & shipping out to
Hawaii where he married an exotic Hula girl before importing her back to
In one of his rundowns during 1975 he explained that our beloved Black
action movies were now being labelled as Blaxploitation movies by the
mysterious 'They' whom I assumed were conservative Whites.
Then bourgeoisie, Uncle Tom organizations such as the National Association
of Colored People (NAACP) & the Urban League began mimicking their White
puppetmasters like little parrots & kissing their arses to keep the crumbs
falling from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. He also related that
the movies were being called blaxploitation because they exploited blacks.
I remember saying, "WHAT!?!"
"DDDDDuuuuhhhhhhh, how are black people being exploited. Before these movies
blacks had nothing, except Sidney Poitier & maybe Bill Cosby with 'I Spy' on
television? Niggas ain't never seen no shit like this before in life!"
I also remember the NAACP & the Urban League waging campaigns pontificating
on the evil images portrayed on the big screen depicting all Blacks as
pimps, players, hustlers, & hos & that all self-respecting, good 'colored'
folk should distance themselves from those socially deviant, ghetto niggers.
On the other hand, I read comments from Gordon Parks & other black actors
such as William Marshall rebutting these holier-than-thou, bourgeoisie,
hyper-critical, comments stating that because of the black-action-movie-genre more black actors & actresses won starting roles on the big screen in
Hollywood than any other time in history, also, this genre gave Hollywood a
badly needed hotshot in the arm at a time of low box office sales.
Personally, I believe conservatives & their lackeys gave such a loud public
outcry & added a new word to the English language because one constant
thread which ran through each & every blaxploitation movie was the act of
blacks getting over on the 'Man' or killing white people on the screen.
Question: What was the first movie on the big screen that showed a black man
killing a white man????????????????????????????????????????
Hint: I betcha it was not that good colored actor named Sidney .... nor
So, the question remains, "Who was exploited?"
It would be hard to believe those once obscure & unemployed black performers
thought they were exploited ... pimped on, maybe ... but that is a different
story ... the black community who cast their dollar votes at the box office
in the true spirit of capitalism because Hollywood was giving them what they
wanted to pay for?
Of course, many terrible, horrible, copy-cat B-movies such as the 'Man With
Two Heads' showed up, but the black community showed their disdain by
withholding their dollars. The point is that during that period the black
community had a chance to see themselves starring in movies in a wide
variety of roles when before no such movies existed.
After my return from the Army there was a severe drought until the
re-emergence of this genre with the making of 'I'm Gonna Get You Sucka' (in
my opinion). As proof, besides my memory because I was there & I saw the
whole thing; please check the chronological listing of black movies at
www.blaxploitation.com ... where you should notice
that after 1977 the number of black movies dropped next to nothing. What
happened to all the black movie stars afterwards?
NEXT: THE NEW BLAXPLOITATION MOVIE EXPLOSION
Ankhamen from Saint Louis, Missouri
We would like
to thank Anpu and the Mothership
falettin us publish the whole thang here...
Stay tuned for the next parts...
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