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-> ''"He's black. He's brutal. He's Boss."''
-->-- '''Trailer''', ''Film/BossNigger''

The term ''Blaxploitation'' refers to a film genre, quite popular in the 1970s and early 1980s, in which the hero or heroes are black, and they have to fight some sort of battle, engage some enemy or otherwise solve some problem in ways involving violence, intimidation, or extreme action skills.

The pivotal point of this genre is that the main character's most significant attribute is the color of his (or [[SassyBlackWoman her]]) skin, as well as [[ValuesDissonance stereotypical attributes associated with it at the time]], such as [[ScaryBlackMan intimidating appearance]], being "naturally predisposed" towards independence, [[CowboyCop lack of respect for authority]], [[AngryBlackMan utter disregard of manners and formalism, preference for violent solutions over diplomacy]] and unquestionable badassery.

Typically the main character was a good guy such as the title character in ''Film/{{Shaft}}'', but in some cases he was an AntiHero, such as Priest, the drug dealer in ''Film/{{SuperFly}}'' who wants to do one more deal and retire.

[[AC:Some of the tropes exposed include:]]
* Endless supply of easily disposable {{Mooks}} who try to stop the character's plans.
* Said mooks are usually star pupils of the ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy.
* Conversely, the main character usually has ImprobableAimingSkills.
* The main character often has martial arts training, though he fights in [[CombatPragmatist no-nonsense fashion]] as opposed to the period's [[FunnyBruceLeeNoises traditional way.]] If he does not have, GoodOldFisticuffs do the job.
* The character being the Bad Cop in a GoodCopBadCop pair, where he either has to work around the incompetent cops, or bribe/intimidate corrupt ones.
* Using the JackBauerInterrogationTechnique on captured {{Mooks}} to extract information from the perp "By any means necessary" (a Malcolm X quote).
* Often has some sort of TimeBomb he has to find or fix before it blows up.
* May or may not have themes of TheManIsKeepingUsDown.
* [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Groovy soundtrack.]]
* Characters speaking in constant JiveTurkey and/or [[SirSwearsALot swearing.]]
* TheMafia as antagonists.
* If not TheMafia or TheMan, then the antagonists will usually be some other group / organization of bigoted white guys.
* [[{{Fanservice}} Sex and nudity,]] often lots of it. It can include [[BlackIsBiggerInBed racial references]].
* [[SuperTitle64Advance Will usually have "Black" in the title.]]

The TropeMaker[=/=]UrExample of this genre is either ''Film/SweetSweetbacksBaadasssssSong'' (1971) or ''Film/TheBlackKlansman'' (1966). Note that unless indicated, if a movie is mentioned below, it's referring to the original 1970s/1980s version, and not to any subsequent remake under the same name. The Blaxploitation genre hasn't been as common since the 1980s, mainly due to [[UnfortunateImplications concerns from African American civil rights groups]].

See also BlaxploitationParody.


* ''Film/BlackBeltJones'': A more contemporaneous Blaxploitation/martial arts hybrid, starring Jim Kelly from ''Enter the Dragon'' fighting against a crew of Mafiosi who killed the owner of a karate school.
* ''Film/BlackCaesar'': Tommy Gibbs, a shoeshine kid in Harlem, becomes a mob runner. On one of his jobs he's beaten severely by a corrupt, racist cop and his leg is shattered, leaving him mildly crippled. Gibbs is then [[MiscarriageOfJustice sent to jail for assaulting a police officer]]. After leaving prison, he assassinates a Mafia target and leverages that favor into a deal allowing him to control a section of Harlem. Famous for its soundtrack and songs done by none other than Music/JamesBrown!
* ''Film/TheBlackCobra'': A black CowboyCop protects a young photographer from a gang of AxCrazy bikers she witnessed and photographed killing somebody.
* ''Film/BlackDynamite'': A 2009 AffectionateParody of the genre.
* ''Film/TheBlackGestapo'': Black 'protection' squad is set up to help citizens of Watts against the Mafia. Proudly taglined 'The New Master Race!'
* ''Film/TheBlackGodfather'': A black gangster starts a MobWar to keep heroin out of his community.
* ''Film/BlackGunn'': A nightclub owner is drawn into a conflict between the Mafia and a militant Black Power organization of which his brother is a member.
* ''Film/TheBlackKlansman'': When a black girl is killed by the KKK, her father, a light-skinned black man, returns to his hometown to infiltrate the local chapter of the KKK and bring it down from within.
* ''Film/BlackRage'': An albino black man (played by a white guy) escapes slavery with his dark-skinned brother, with [[Series/TheAddamsFamily Lurch]] chasing after them.
* ''Film/TheBlackSix'': An African-American biker gang avenges the racist murder of their leader's brother.
* ''Film/{{Blackenstein}}'' -- see ''Film/{{Frankenstein 1931}}''.
* ''Film/{{Blacula}}'': An 18th-century African prince gets turned by a racist {{Dracula}} and [[SealedEvilInACan imprisoned]] until the modern day. Spawned a sequel and many [[FollowTheLeader imitators]], including ''Film/{{Blackenstein}}'', ''[[Film/DrJekyllAndMrBlack Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Black]]'', ''Film/SugarHill'' and ''Film/PossessMySoul''
** ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': "Next, on Exploitation Theatre... ''Film/{{Blacula}}'', followed by ''[[Film/{{Frankenstein 1931}} Blackenstein]]'', and ''[[Film/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame The Blunchblack of Blotre Blame]]''!" - "Ooh, funky!"
* ''Film/BossNigger'': A violent western starring Fred Williamson and an [[EarWorm incredibly catchy theme song]]. He made two others, but this takes the cake.
-->'''{{Creator/Seanbaby}}:''' If Fred Williamson made ''Film/JohnCarter'', it would have been called ''Spaceman Brown: Chocolate Motherfucker'', and it would have turned a $250 million profit."
* ''Film/BrotherhoodOfDeath'': Three black Vietnam veterans go to ear with TheKlan.
* ''Film/TheCandyTangerineMan'': A pimp has to deal with TheMafia trying to force it's way into his business.
* ''Film/CarWash'': A day in the life of a RagtagBunchOfMisfits working at a Los Angeles car wash - most of whom are black.
* ''Film/CleopatraJones'': A black, female DEA agent fights drug dealers.
* ''Film/{{Coffy}}'': A nurse (Creator/PamGrier) goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the drug dealers responsible for her sister's addiction. Notable for featuring both a [[ActionGirl female protagonist]] and an [[DrugsAreBad anti-drug message]], both of which were unfashionable at the time.
* ''Film/DiscoGodfather'': The unholy alliance of two hallmarks of the 70's; [[/index]]Blaxploitation and {{Disco}}. Rudy Ray Moore stars as a retired cop who runs a disco nightclub. He starts fighting against the local drug trade after his nephew gets "whacked out" on PCP and nearly dies inside of his club. Notable only for being the first film Creator/KeithDavid ever appeared in, [[OldShame which he probably regrets]], in which he appears uncredited as a patron of the club.
* ''Film/{{Dolemite}}'': A spoof of the genre about a pimp and his karate hookers.
* ''Film/EastMeetsWatts'': Combines this genre with a MartialArtsMovie.
* ''Film/EbonyIvoryAndJade'': Kidnapped athletes go on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against their captors.
* ''Film/FoxyBrown'': A black woman (played by Creator/PamGrier) seeks revenge for her boyfriend who was shot down by TheMan. SpiritualSuccessor to, and originally intended as a sequel to, ''Film/{{Coffy}}''.
* ''Film/GreasedLightning'' slightly different tale, starring [[/index]]Creator/RichardPryor, [[Film/BlazingSaddles Cleavon Little]], and Creator/PamGrier, about an African American moonshiner and early NASCAR driver.[[index]]
* ''Film/TheGuyFromHarlem'': In Miami, a vest-wearing detective uses the power of being from Harlem to save an African princess from assassination, then rescue the kidnapped daughter of a mobster.
* ''[[Film/HalfLives Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery]]'', a segment of the book/film [[/index]]''Literature/CloudAtlas,'' is modeled after this genre. A spunky soul sista reporter and rebellious employees of an energy concern team up to prevent the higher-ups from covering up information that their latest power plant project is unsafe in the name of saving a buck.
* ''Film/TheHebrewHammer'' [[AffectionateParody lovingly borrows]] many of the tropes seen in these films and throws them in a pot with [[ANiceJewishIndex literally every Jewish stereotype ever]] to serve up the first ever "Jewsploitation" film. In it, our titular hero, a "Certified circumcised [[DoubleEntendre dick]]," is out to stop Santa Claus's evil, antisemitic son from destroying Hanukkah. Accompanying him is his BlackBestFriend, Muhammed Ali Paula Abdul Raheem, of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front who more or less acts as an excuse to play blaxploitation tropes comically straight.
* ''Film/ImGonnaGitYouSucka'': A 1988 spoof.
* ''Film/JackieBrown'' is Creator/QuentinTarantino's homage to the genre.
* ''[[Film/JDsRevenge J.D.'s Revenge]]'': An African American law student in [[/index]]UsefulNotes/NewOrleans attends a hypnotist's show and is posessed by the spirit of the titular deceased 1940s gangster J.D. Walker. He then gradually [[BecomingTheMask gains the mannerisms of the fallen one]].[[index]]
* ''Film/TheLastDragon'': A hybrid with MartialArtsMovie genre released after the trend for both had faded. "Bruce Leroy" Green battles Sho'nuf, Shogun of Harlem in a quest to be the greatest fighter.
* ''Film/LiveAndLetDie'': Even Franchise/JamesBond gets in on the craze, thwarting heroin dealers and Voodoo priests in Harlem, New Orleans, and the Caribbean.
* ''Film/OriginalGangstas'': [[/index]]{{Retired Outlaw}}s (Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, Creator/PamGrier, Creator/RichardRoundtree and [[Film/SuperFly Ron O'Neal]]!) decide to take down the violent new gang in their neighborhood.[[index]]
* ''Film/PootieTang'': An affectionate parody of the genre from 2001.
* ''Film/PossessMySoul,'' also having the alternate title ''Abby,'' but known affectionately among its fans as [[/index]][[Film/TheExorcist "The Blaxorcist."]][[index]]
* ''Film/{{Shaft}}'': A black private detective in New York City has to find the kidnappers of the daughter of a negro crime boss. Spawned two little-remembered sequels and a TV series shortly thereafter, and a similarly forgettable [[Film/{{Shaft 2000}} 2000 sequel]] starring Creator/SamuelLJackson as the original Shaft's nephew. Mostly known nowadays for its [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic theme song]].
* ''Film/SpaceIsThePlace'': A 1974 movie starring [[/index]]Music/SunRa[[index]]. This film was made during the early 1970s with a majority of Afro-American actors, deals with themes of black self awareness and salvation and features a cool soundtrack.
* ''Film/SugarHill'' - After her fiance is killed by racist gangsters, Diana "Sugar" Hill enlists the help of her local [[/index]][[HollywoodVoodoo Voodoo priestess]], [[BoisterousBruiser Baron]] [[PhysicalGod Samedi]], and a gang of ZombieMooks in getting revenge.[[index]]
* ''Film/SuperFly'': A drug dealer wants to set up one more deal in order to retire. (Since there were several sequels, apparently his attempts at retirement were not successful.) Mostly remembered nowadays for its soundtrack, written and produced by Curtis Mayfield.
* ''[[Film/SweetSweetbacksBaadasssssSong Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song]]'': A bordello's show-stud is framed for murder by crooked cops, flees and takes the opportunity to pay back the Man for multiple injustices. Not quite an exploitation film, but it's often considered the UrExample, so it's certainly relevant to the discussion.
* ''[[Film/ThreeTheHardWay Three the Hard Way]]'': Three men (black, of course) have to stop a white supremacist who has developed a chemical which, when added to the water supply, kills only negroes. Note that he's going to hit three heavily black cities (Los Angeles, Detroit and Washington, D.C.) so each of the heroes must take on an entire army of mooks single handed.
* ''Film/TNTJackson'': Former [[/index]]''Magazine/{{Playboy}}'' Playmate Jeannie Bell stars as [[IKnowKarate a karate expert]] tracking down her brother's murderer in Hong Kong. Similar to ''Film/BlackBeltJones'', except with [[FullFrontalAssault Bell losing her clothes before each fight scene.]][[index]]
* ''Film/TruckTurner'': Isaac Hayes soundtracks and stars in this movie, where he plays a bounty hunter who kills a notorious fugitive pimp and subsequently gets a bounty put on ''his'' head by the Los Angeles pimp community. Co-stars Nichelle [[/index]][[IAmNotSpock "Uhura"]] Nichols as an [[PlayingAgainstType extremely bad-tempered and foul-mouthed madam]] who acts as the BigBad of the picture.[[index]]
* ''Film/UndercoverBrother'' is basically an ''Film/AustinPowers''-esque parody of the genre, with the main character being a 70's blaxsploitation protagonist [[DiscoStu in modern times]] trying to stop TheMan from mind controlling black America with a chain of fried chicken restaurants.
* ''Film/VampireInBrooklyn'': Basically ''Film/{{Blacula}}'' in mid-90s New York. Stars Creator/EddieMurphy and was advertised as a comedy, but the movie [[NeverTrustATrailer switches]] to a straight horror film about halfway through.