Books | Film

September 22, 2010

The Blaxploitation Reader

Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide, discusses the uniquely American film genre.

Adam Rosen

In the pantheon of lexical construction, "blaxploitation" is one bad mutha. Few linguistic mashups have been as simultaneously pithy and evocative as this infamous term, coined in the early 1970s by Los Angeles NAACP head (and ex-film publicist) Junius Griffin. A union of the words "black" and "exploitation" was not accidental: "We must insist that our children are not exposed to a diet of so-called black movies that glorify black males as pimps, dope pushers, gangsters, and super males with vast physical prowess but no cognitive skills," Griffin told Newsweek in 1972. His protest came after the release of Super Fly, the massively popular tale of larger-than-life coke dealer Youngblood Priest as he plots one last score. (The film was so successful that it bested no less than The Godfather in a short run as America’s highest-earning movie.) Try as he might, Griffin, along with his partners in the NAACP, CORE, and PUSH, simply could not halt the advance of blaxploitation.

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- Film
- posted on Sep 23, 10

josiah howard appearance

- Film
- posted on Sep 24, 10
anthony alansky

Im a big fan of the genre,i also seen my first "blaxploitation"film wen i was a kid.I have this book and its thoroughly entertaining,informative and the pictures alone are worth the price of the book alone! anyone who loves films/action and pop culture will love this beautifully written book,well done,mr howard!

- Film
- posted on Sep 29, 10
Clarence Gamblin

I arrived in New York in the late sixties and early seventies, and they were a big part of my life that I never discussed with anyone until Josie(Josiah) published his oeuvre. Fantastic, I am happy that someone has done a work on it.

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Article by Adam Rosen

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