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Shut Your Mouth, Sojourner

The term blaxploitation was coined to describe a film genre that targeted urban audiences, was often set in U.S. ghettos, freely used the word honky, and stereotyped blacks as pimps, prostitutes, and drug dealers. Black power, black fists, and black Afros were ubiquitous, and as the first block of mainstream films to feature African-American heroes and the music and culture that bred them, these flicks were seen as a new kind of black strength. ArtCenter/South Florida — with its latest exhibition, “Freedom Fighters: American Legends Re-Imagined” — is revisiting the meaning of blaxploitation in a way we all can be proud of. The collection includes 12 graphic artists from around the country who have taken posters from 1970s blaxploitation films and turned them into black power icons. Pam Grier’s Coffee and Richard Roundtree’s Shaft become revolutionaries such as Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, and the Madam C.J. Walker. The pieces will prompt you to explore your own ideas of black icons. The exhibit runs through July 19.
June 12-July 19, 7 p.m., 2009


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