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Stereotypes In Blaxploitation Films

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In Early American film history stereotypes of blacks as lazy, stupid, foolish, cowardly, submissive, irresponsible, childish, violent, sub-human, and animal-like. These degrading stereotypes are reinforced and enhanced by the negative portrayal of blacks in the media. But blacks weren't even hired to portray blacks in early works. Instead, white actors and actresses were hired to portray the characters while in "blackface." By refusing to hire black actors to portray black characters, demeaning stereotypes were being created as blacks were presented in an unfavorable light (Massood, P. J. 2006). In addition, blacks were purposely portrayed in films with negative stereotypes that reinforced white supremacy over blacks. This has had a tremendous effect on our society's view of blacks since motion pictures have had more of an impact on the public mind …show more content…
B. & Mastin, T. 2005). During the Blaxploitation film craze of the 1970’s women seemed to gain more control over their sexuality, lives and destinies, at least in the movies. The ‘strong Black woman’ representation was noticeable throughout Blaxploitation films and featured heroines taking control over their lives, as well as the things and people that mattered to them. Black women in Blaxploitation films have specifically been attacked for being seemingly objectified and overt sexuality and nudity. In these films, Black women are in control of their sexuality as well as not in control simultaneously. When the protagonist is male, the women in the films are usually shown as prostitutes, drug abusers and/or innocent bystanders with no tangible control over what is happening to them in general, especially sexually. In films like Foxy Brown and Coffy, the protagonist is “an agent of change rather than a passive recipient of action” (Demers, J.

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