Monthly Archives: November 2013

Blaxploitation is Exploitation

Blaxploitation is Exploitation

BaaadAaass Cinema (2002), directed by Isaac Julien gave several actors, directors and film critics’ interpretation on Blaxploitation films. In this documentary, Blaxploitation was described as “a commercial-minded film of the seventies for black audiences.” Black and/or white people directed these films, but they were made with black actors/actress for a black audience. Blaxploitation films were made to enhance the black community and promote the individuals involved. Although they did do this, these films also had a negative effect. In his book “Framing Blackness,” Ed Guerrero says this about Blaxploitation; “the epithet is usually associated with the production of the sixty or so Hollywood films that centered on black narratives, featured black cast playing out various action-adventures in the ghetto, and were released roughly between 1969 and 1974.” These films exploited black men, women and children while portraying them in a negative and stereotypical way.
Ed Guerrero would agree that although Blaxploitation films were very successful, they portrayed the black community negatively. He states; “Blaxploitation might as easily and accurately describe the cruel injustice of slavery or, for that matter, much of the historical sojourn of black folks in America.” So many people worked hard to get blacks from under the control of ‘the white man,’ but once they agreed to do these films they were right back under ‘his’ control again. It may be true that black people and Blaxploitation films saved Hollywood, but after Hollywood made a comeback, they kicked all of these black directors, actors, etc. out our their behinds. It’s good that they got fame and fortune from these films, but not everyone knows that black people did this for Hollywood. They don’t know that they’re the reason that Hollywood is still so successful today. They just see them on screen acting ignorant and come to the conclusion that all blacks are the same way.
Films such as Foxy Brown, Coffy and Black Mama White Mama were very popular in 70s. These films features protagonist women like Pam Grier; Grier roles in these films always varied; she’d be everything from a police officer, to a prostitute to a murderer. Grantland states; Grier “karate-chopped people. She shot people. She cursed people out. She dunked their heads in barrels of powdered pool chlorine. She seduced for sport, for information, because it made bad men blissfully unaware that she was about to murder them. She took out rapists, pimps, imperialists, chauvinists, bigots, and Blacula. Murder her boyfriend, sell deadly dope to her sister, try to steal her daddy’s business, and she’d get you with her sexual Trojan horse routine .” Grier was always a female protagonist action hero; which isn’t seen in a lot of action films today. Though this is what a protagonist does in action films, since Grier is African American and a woman she’s held to different standards then the men that’s usually featured in these films. Grier was evil and conniving in most of her films. She betrayed and was disloyal to her family members and she appeared nude in many of these films. Some people would categorize Grier as ruthless in these film. This is not saying Grier didn’t have a positive impact on some people, because she did. She was a black woman and had power and the audience loved that, but she didn’t always use her power in the best way.
Blaxploitation films are supposed to describe the lives of blacks during this time, but when a child is involved in one of these films and portrayed as a sex symbol, that crosses the line. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song was directed by Melvin Van Peebles in 1971. This film feature Melvin Van Peebles as Sweetback; the protagonist who goes on the run after helping a member of The Black Panthers fight off two cops who were repeatedly beating him. Peebles exploited his own son in this movie; he appeared naked and engaged in sexual activity with a prostitute. Anyone who is not familiar with what went on the ghetto in the 1970s would believe that parents would let their children have sex with adults. Therefore this leads to the exploitation of black children.
Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is said to be one of the movies that began the Blaxploitation movement. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song features many themes that would become mainstays of the genre, including the effects of cruelty on the black population and the risky world of drugs, revolutionary groups and gangs. Audiences like this movie because the black man got away. In movies during this time the black men were always either captured or killed. A lot of these films give off political messages, but audience fail to see what the message is; only paying attention to the provocative sex scenes. In Baadasssss Cinema Ed Guerrero said he couldn’t even say for sure whether Sweetback was a revolutionary movie or just purely exploitation. Judging by the number of sex scenes shown in this movie, it’s fair to say that this movie in exploitation. Several people will go against this saying it is revolutionary. This movie was all about the sex, which is why it attracted so many people. Bell Hooks even said that Pebbles did all this just for the money.
Blaxploitation films featured black male protagonist who were usually shown under a negative light. In the Foxy Brown, Foxy’s brother put his own sister life in danger without thinking twice and he had no remorse after doing so. Her brother not old sold drugs, but he did them as well. Roles like the one played Foxy’s brother came as no surprise during this time. “The new black man represented in the Blaxploitation movies was very sexual and aggressive to the point where that became a defining factor of his character. The black man was portrayed either as a pimp/pusher/drug dealer or as a hypersexual buck and usually he was both. He was not completely committed to anything political but he could clean up the Ghetto and take on the establishment at any time. ” In Superfly, the protagonist was a black man who was a part of gang and a cocaine dealer who wants to get out of the drug because he realizes his life is at risk.
Although Blaxploitation films portray black communities negatively, it still has a positive impact on films. Blaxploitation directors today influence several directors, and they incorporate some of the themes from back then in their films today. Spike Lee’s; Do the right Thing released in 1989 can also considered a Blaxploitation film, although it came out some years later. This film had a mixture of races; Blacks, Italians, Hispanics and Asians were seen in this movie. This film was set in Brooklyn and featured several characters as their attitudes all collide on the hottest day of the year. Mookie is the main character in this film, but unlike other protagonist in Blaxploitation films he doesn’t have a huge problem. The ignorance of black characters in this movie is what stands out the most, a riot began and young man was killed because of pictures on a wall. In this film blacks are portrayed as either drunks, ignorant or just lazy.

Blaxploitation films were successful and a lot of these films are still talked about and/or quoted from today. Black people liked these films because it showed them being successful and having power. No matter the circumstances or the power the audience felt, these films were still exploitative. When women appear nude and having sex in front a dozens of people that’s exploitive. When a man allows his son to strip down naked and engage in sexual conduct that exploitive. The biggest issue with Blaxploitation is that it’s said to act out situations that occurred in the ghetto; none of the situation seen in these films is positive. That leads a person who was not from the ghetto in that day and age believe that all black people were disgraceful. During the 60’s and 70’s blacks didn’t understand how detrimental the films and the negative impact it had on the culture. Blaxploitation films are a momentous part of the filmmaking history. “They reflected some historical progress that blacks have made in the US. They helped to make the seventies a very prominent time for blacks. However, its use of sensationalism and exaggeration proved to do more harm than good. The artistic aspects of the black experience and culture were completely lost. Through these mis-representations, the image of blacks was redefined with new stereotypes and generalizations. Although we can lo ok back and enjoy some of the better qualities that exist within the movies, African Americans continue to struggle with the burden on these images today. ”


Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself


20131121-150115.jpg It’s been two years since I first made this blog and so much has changed since then. This is just basically a reintroduction to LaQuesha Williams! For starters I’m 24 years old and a college graduate from Indiana University South Bend. I majored in Mass Communications and minored in Film Studies. Although I haven’t landed the job of my desire yet, Im still holding my head high and praying everyday. Before the end of this year, my screenplay “Resurfaced” will be in several people hands and I have a good feeling about this. In January I will begin writing for Aristocratic Journalism and Ill also begin working on my Masters in Journalism.
I thank everyone who reads, shares, like, etc my writings and it really means a lot. Ive learned there are people who read, but don’t leave feedback, I want to encourage you all to leave feedback, especially negative. Be on the lookout for me, I assure you all, this is just a beginning for me. Im off to a rough start, but I won’t give up. Once again thank you all.

How Often We Neglect To Thank Them

Sometimes we may forget there are and has been people who fight and risk their lives for us everyday. They put their brave face on and do what God planned for them to do; protect the people. Its sad they only get one day to be recognized and appreciated. Thanks to those who went through so much for the red, blue and white! R.I.P to all of our fallen soldiers and may God bless our men and women, the families and loved ones of all those involved.


Why Settle When You Deserve Much More?

Why Settle When You Deserve Much More?

There is no doubt, life doesn’t come easy- unless you’re an heir and/or born with a silver spoon, and even then there are still some issues to face. The fact that life is hard doesn’t mean you have to settle for less than what you deserve. Or does it? People settle for several different things, for several different reasons in life. Sometimes these people don’t realize they’re settling. They’re just so use to the norm, that they forget what they deserve. Then there are those people who are just tired of trying. One woman, who wants to remain anonymous, explains why she chooses to settle at this time in her life.
“Honestly, yes I have been settling as far as my relationship goes. I know I can do better, but I be getting horny and I’m not about to go out her and screw some random guy and catch a disease. I been with him for almost three years and haven’t caught anything. I’m not the only one he be with, but at least I know who he be with and that he be careful. I got needs and he satisfies them s***s like no other. I guess I’m just a horny mother*****r. But I’m going to get me a scholar one. It ain’t going to be about the sex. We gone take our time and get to know one another. ‘Brenda’ (one of her sisters) said she sees some guy sweeping me off my feet in no longer than two years. That would be sweet. I don’t consider my relationship a waste of time because it’s taught me what not to go after and that everything that glitters ain’t gold and take your time when you’re liking someone and not jump in head first… You know?” This is a single mom, with a full time job and who is also going to school working on her Bachelor’s degree. So she doesn’t always have time to really date and find trust in a new man. Is this a reliable excuse for her to go beneath what she really desires and deservers? Reader, Sharrie Wright, would most likely say “no,” she believes that settling in a person begins with the person parents, or someone who raised them and they looked up to. “Sometimes, I think that it’s all they know, referring to seeing there parent’s relationship or others they grew up knowing. Also, love plays a major part; a lot of people put that perfect man front on until they got you in that corner. And love got you too blind to leave.” If our anonymous reader chose to settle because of what she seen, then it’s likely those who look up to her may develop the same trait.
Most people like Shawnna Renae, believes those who settle, do so because that’s all they feel like they deserve; “they honestly feel that, that is all they really do deserve, because if you thought you deserved more than that, you would do what you could to get that.” Aja Ellington would agree with Renae, she says she’s not yet where she wants to be in life, but she has no intention on settling. “Five years from now I will own my home. I will have Master’s in social work, my children will be in a good private school. I will be working in my career field of course, while building a plan to open my own counseling facility for youth. I will never settle. I will strive to provide the best possible life for my children and myself. If God sends me a man so be it. I will be open for marriage and possibly one more child… Five years from now I will be comfortable.”
Everyone has the potential to achieve each and every dream they desire. Settling should never be incorporated with dream and life. Maurica Plump-Williams says she keeps all her faith in the man above and sometimes people lose their faith. She insist that no matter what you continue to P.U.S.H “Pray Until Something Happens.”
Ironically after getting several peoples opinions and ideas on “settling, a reader shared the following verse with “Do not abandon your dreams.” No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17. When it comes to settling, the saying “different strokes, for different folks” becomes relevant. Several different people have their own take as to why they do or don’t settle.

2 Killed, 7 Hurt in Detroit Barbershop Shooting

Black America Web

DETROIT (AP) — Three people have died following a shooting at a Detroit barbershop known for gambling, police said. Several other people were wounded, and a reason for the gunfire wasn’t known.

Shots erupted Wednesday evening outside Al’s Barber Shop on the city’s east side. Nine people were struck, including two men who were inside the shop and died, police said.

Sgt. Mike Woody told The Associated Press on Thursday morning that a third person died at a hospital, but he didn’t immediately have additional details. More information is expected to be released at a Thursday morning a news conference.

“We’re not sure if this was over a bad debt. We have no idea,” Police Chief James Craig said earlier. “We know it’s a barbershop and gambling has occurred in this location.”

The number of people believed shot had gone back and forth between nine and 10 following the shooting…

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