Cultural fans go nuts discussing blaxploitation films

And its definitely an odd thing, when a group takes the wheel of their own stereotyping, pimps it out, puts the petal to the floor, and in the process fashions something truly novel and modern. But probably these films were really just black escapist pulp. Someplace for black people to go see over-the-top black heroes, black villians and black vamps. At least they made it look good. They didn't bring that half-assed Steven Segal shit. I mean the guy doesn't even do martial arts, he just throws dudes on the floor.

I'm with Anpu Ankhamensa, when he says in his essay "I Was There and Saw the Whole Thang":

"In my humble opinion these movies had the most long-lasting & most profound effects on the Black American Diaspora... simply because they BLEW NIGGAS' MINDS!!!!"

Personally, I'm more interested in a theory of Whiteslpoitation film.

I don't know exactly how one would begin to define such a genre, but I do know it would at some point suppose the following - off the top of my head:

A theme song by Randy Newman; some snappy dialogue about sex-fear by Nora Ephron; a good wife who walks around in wholesomely white panties played by Anne Archer; a sapless male character played by Aidan Quinn (because he's the male Anne Archer); John Travolta trying to dance like a black guy; Tim Allen trying to dance like a black guy; some cancer; a depressed person in a big house on the coast; speedboat chases; an acting debut by a country-western star; an expensive school christmas pageant; and a retard.

Hop on the comments board and gimme your Whitesploitation staples!

Discussing the poster for "Shaft in Africa" in What it is ... What it was, The Black Film explosion of the '70s in words and pictures, illustrator John Solie remembers:

".. they decided that they wanted Richard Roundtree in this costume and a montage of scenes from Africa. They said, "Put the Eiffel Tower in there." I said, "I'm not all that great in geography, but I thought that was in France". "Yeah, yeah, yeah but we shot some stuff in Paris, we've got to get our production value. You gotta put the Eiffel Tower in there". I replied " It's going to say 'Shaft in Africa', its going to have all these scenes in Africa, and the Eiffel Tower?" "Yeah, yeah, gotta have that". So I put the Eiffel Tower in the center, and built everything else around it. I made a point out of it so it didn't look like we didn't know where it was. At the end, they looked at it and said, "That's fine, we love it. However, take the Eiffel Tower and move it over there behind this building." I said "If you put it behind the building, without the base of the tower, you can't tell it's the Eiffel Tower. It looks like an antenna." They said, "You're right. Make it a pyramid." ..."

Nairobi Afro Band's "Soul Makossa" is a flute-heavy cover of Manu Dibango's 1972 crossover disco hit of the same name. You may notice, toward the end, the familiar chant of "Mama se mama sa a makossa." In the 90s Dibango successfully sued Michael Jackson for pinching his riff, plying it with Jesus Juice, making it look at online porn, and using it for "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"