Oregon Black Pioneers is proud to present some of the first films made by Black directors and starring Black actors, embraced as their own genre: Blaxploitation. These low to mid-budget, non-mainstream movies showcased Black actors in prominent roles and were geared towards Black urban audiences, offering a rare chance for them to see themselves as fearless protagonists in white-dominated cinema for the first time.
Oregon Black Pioneers’ Blaxploitation Film Series features Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), Cleopatra Jones (1973) and Superfly (1972). Executive Director Zachary Stocks envisioned this series as a way to celebrate Black filmmaking as well as remind us of issues that have yet to be resolved in this country, “These films dared to show African Americans getting justice against a racist and corrupt system by any means necessary. Although they were derided for glamorizing violence and street life, “Blaxploitation” films were beloved by audiences. More than 50 years later, many Blaxploitation films remain classics and have renewed relevance in our current fight for racial justice.”
Reflecting the tumultuous times in the nation (and in Oregon), this series serves to highlight the glory days of Blaxploitation. But we also must point out, like many films of all genres of this time, these movies often feature homophobic themes and violence against women. They also use the N word gratuitously. We present these films as snapshots of a moment in time, acknowledging the regrettable fact that these tropes were presented for laughs or shock value.
The historic Hollywood Theatre has generously offered their largest theater for this series, and Oregon Black Pioneers will benefit from each ticket sold. Donations can be made before and after the movie as well.
Get your tickets at hollywoodtheatre.org.
Mon. May 8 – Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
Introducing Coffin Ed and Gravedigger, two detectives only a mother could love.
Thu. June 1 – Cleopatra Jones in 35MM (1973)
She’s 6 feet 2” of Dynamite and the Hottest Super Agent Ever! Tickets here!
Mon. July 3 – Superfly (1972)
Never a dude like this one! He’s got a plan to stick it to The Man! Tickets here!