Motivated by the box office gold wrought by the independent film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, Hollywood rushed to create films that it felt would appeal to a broad-based Black audience.

While the hits Shaft and Superfly were produced by major studios, many of the ensuing films, including those listed here, were created and distributed by small independent companies specialized in “exploitation” films (films made to turn a quick profit), resulting in the term “Blaxploitation.”

Though ‘70s Blaxploitation was heavy on camp and stereotypes, most critics agree that this genre influenced many of today’s African American filmmakers.