Chapter 10 in Beyond Blaxploitation, Gerald Butters and Novotny Lawrence, eds. (Wayne State Univ Press, 2016)

My chapter argues that “blaxploitation” was an really a marketing of exploitation films–long a by whites for a white audience production style–to black audiences.  Once the films became popular with black audiences, however, black viewer “taste” and (black) “market demand” were used as explanations for the appearance of this 1970s black movie cycle.

This whole scholarly collection is invested in expanding our historical and critical understanding of these films–an important endeavor as many assumptions made about black audiences, black filmmakers, and even a “black” aesthetic in this period still influence discussions of black Americans and media today.

PDF of the chapter at

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