Before you point it out: Yes, I see the humor in saying blaxploitation cinema was "shafted" (as in "Shut your mouth! I'm talkin' 'bout Shaft!"). But there's nothing funny about the way African American film was given a debilitating kick in the crotch by, of all people, the NAACP! The films were accused of creating negative stereotypes, protested against, and summarily removed from theaters.
Guys like Fred Williamson, a popular blaxploitation actor, were saying WTF? We finally have a genre of cinema that we can call our own, and it employs tons of black actors and movie crews.... and the the NAACP takes it away from us!
For those of you naysayers who think it was a good thing to shut these films down, consider the following points.
1. Perhaps the pimps, hustlers, and hoes weren't stereotypes, but rather a real reflection of the crime ridden urban neighborhoods. Should they have made all their movies like The Cosby Show, a pretend alternate universe far removed from reality?
2. If you actually WATCH these films, you'll quickly discover that there's always a very moral to the story. The young black man who decides to get rich pimping and selling drugs always ends up paying a heavy price, and often makes a positive turnaround.
3. As I mentioned, these films employed hundreds and hundreds of black actors and movie crews. They may have been shut out of mainstream Hollywood, but folks like Pam Grier and Ron O'Neal found a venue in the ghettos across America.
4. These films had EXCELLENT soundtracks. It was a wonderful opportunity to promote black music, and names like Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes profited from it.
And have you looked in theaters these days? I just don't understand it. It seems like black people are only allowed to play in comedies..... literally EVERY African American movie is a goofy comedy! How is okay for them to constantly play buffoons, but they were forbidden to play empowered badasses givin' it to "the man"? I won't say a racist conspiracy is at work here, but it certainly makes you wonder what the hell is going on.