Crawford Family ForumPasadena, CA, United States


By KPCC In Person (other events)

Wednesday, June 15 2022 7:00 PM 8:00 PM PDT

Blaxploitation films hit the big screen 50 years ago. It’s a genre that many film critics say changed the landscape for Black actors – and created some of Hollywood’s most memorable characters, soundtracks, and movies. But it has a complicated legacy – and recent efforts to reboot the 70s classics have run into some stormy box office returns. That hasn’t stopped Hollywood from revisiting the genre – Hulu is developing a series based on “Foxy Brown,” and a “Blacula” reboot is in the works at MGM Studios.

From “Superfly” and “Shaft” to “Foxy Brown,” these movies gave Black actors a chance to be the hero – even as they sometimes trafficked in harmful stereotypes and cheesy cliches. But arguably, the lasting legacy of Blaxploitation wasn’t the films at all – it was the soundtracks. Isaac Hayes’ soundtrack for “Shaft” won multiple Grammys, and made the composer the first African-American to win an Oscar for a non-acting category for Best Original Song. The soundtrack is included in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

1A host Jenn White (she/her) will explore the legacy and influence of Blaxploitation films with a panel of filmmakers, critics, and musical artists in a round-robin style interview. And who knows? We may even get a live performance that will really take you back in time.

1A is produced by WAMU 88.5, and distributed by NPR. It can be heard on over 430 stations, including 89.3 KPCC, Monday-Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

This event is part of KPCC’s Public Radio Palooza, a year-long celebration of all the ways public radio brings us together, featuring some of the most legendary and innovative creators in the public media landscape.