Nsenga Burton

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blaxploitation films kick ass

Posted By on Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 1:02 PM

  • The Mack

By Nsenga Burton

People are often surprised that one of my favorite eras of film is the blaxploitation era. Marked by cheaply produced films featuring black casts, soundtracks and urban locations from 1971 to 1976, blaxploitation films are a guilty pleasure. They are notorious for having bad acting, poor production values and tired storylines, but there is something magnetic about the films. Perhaps it's the cool characters that are colorful — think The Mack, Dolemite and Willie Dynamite; super bad — think John Shaft, Cleopatra Jones, Foxy Brown; and unapologetically unafraid of the man, a.k.a. "Whitey" — think Black Caesar or Super Fly.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Microsoft goes hard: Racism in advertising

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 9:08 AM

Microsoft swapped out a black man's head for a white man's head because they felt the people of Poland would not be able to relate to a black person in a business meeting. I know that there aren't a lot of Blacks in Poland, but that isn't giving Polish people a lot of credit. They cite racism in Poland as the cause. Really. Perhaps it's racism in the people making the creative decisions that is the cause? I suspect there's no causal link between advertisers who dare to determine what people can and cannot imagine, and racism against blacks that is a mainstay in Poland. I guess the Microsoft folks never thought that this ad with a black person in it could send a message of equality. Instead they cater to the familiar — racism in advertising and society.

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