Film genre from the 1970's that had black actors or characters taking the lead roles, as the hero, rather than the villain.
Many of these films, if centered around locations in the north or west coast, the setting was usually in a ghetto setting, dealing with drugs, gangs, and pimps.
While if set in the South, the plot generally dealt with slavery and race mingling, usually in a sexual context.
In most of these films, the villain was portrayed by Caucasian actors, with the hero portrayed by African Americans.
These films were generally geared for marketing to the minority audience, and were an attempt at breaking down racial barriers.
These films are also credited with introducing funk, and soul jazz music to a wider audience.
Many groups, such as the NAACP objected to the way the Black Heroes were being portrayed which led to the genre being dropped in the late 70's. These groups claimed it only heightened the stereotyping of the Black Race, rather than breaking down the racial barriers.
These 'films' covered may film types, such as crime stories, humour, science fiction, and horror.
Today many of the classic Blaxploitation films are parodied by today's popular shows, such as Saturday Night Live, Family Guy and Fox's MADtv.
The term itself is a morphing of the words 'Black' and 'Exploitation'.
The movie, Shaft, is considered to be the first film in this genre, that started it all, as it was mainly financed by the established Hollywood studios.