The much anticipated Sony Pictures action movie Colombiana opens in theaters everywhere today. Colombiana stars actress Zoe Saldana, 33, in the leading role as a beautiful trained assassin, who, as a child, witnessed the murder of her parents.
The trailer for Colombiana is a tour de force of revenge, retaliation and butt kicking action. I'm sure Colombiana will have the same empowering effect on your little girls as the films Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones had on my friends and me in the 70s.
Pam Grier starred in 1974's Foxy Brown, as a gorgeous, big breasted, vigilante killing machine. And at 6 ft 1 in, Tamara Dobson was every black girl's heroine in 1973 as Cleopatra Jones.
Unlike Colombiana, who has an arsenal of high powered weapons at her disposal, Cleopatra Jones and Foxy Brown used their hands and feet to karate chop their attackers (mostly men) down to size.
As much as black girls were inspired and empowered by the sight of these powerful black women kicking butt on the big screen in the 70s, the NAACP informed us we were being exploited.
Junius Griffin, the head of the NAACP at the time, argued that Blaxploitation films portrayed the ghetto in a negative light by featuring black stereotypes such as drug dealers, gang bangers, hitmen, and prostitutes.
Griffin, who was probably a tight butt, bourgeoise elitist, criticized fun black films like Shaft (starring Richard Roundtree), Coffy (starring Pam Grier), Super Fly, and The Mack (about a fly pimp played by Max Julien).
Films featuring super hero black characters were phased out in the late 70s mainly due to the intense pressure put on Hollywood by the troublemakers at the NAACP.
As ridiculous as it sounds, if this was 1971 instead of 2011, the NAACP would probably label Colombiana a blaxploitation film. Especially considering the fact that Saldana is a mixed female, and Colombiana contains some of the same elements as those 70s films featuring azz kicking black actresses who looked just like us.
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