Black History Month Featuring Blaxploitation Movies

Learn about Blaxploitation cinema. Blaxploitation cinema was a genre of films produced in the early 1970s that were aimed at primarily black audiences. These films starred African-American actors in lead roles and had plots that were a reflection of the anti-establishment vibe of the 70s. The films were often criticized for furthering racial stereotypes and their glorification of violence, but many took to them as a message of empowerment and welcomed the opportunity for black voices to be represented in American film. 

Check out: Ossie Davis' Cotton Comes To Harlem (1970), Melvin Van PeeblesSweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song (1971), Gordon Parks Sr.'s Shaft (1971), and Roger Corman's Coffy.

February is Black History Month, our nation’s annual observance and celebration of African American history and culture. The event began in 1926 as a weeklong celebration founded by revered historian Carter G. Woodson, before being expanded to a full month in 1976 under the presidency of Gerald Ford. Other countries such as Canada and the UK have since followed suit and devoted a month to celebrating black history as well. February was chosen given its abundance of important dates and events that correspond to African American history. For example, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was founded on February 12, 1909, on what would have been the 100th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation. Also, February 20th is the birthday of social activist, abolitionist, writer and statesman Frederick Douglass.

To celebrate Black History Month, Fusfoo will be featuring stories and videos throughout February highlighting the lives of key African American social figures, artists and intellectuals, as well as culturally significant events and milestones. 


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