Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, writing for The Hollywood Reporter:
Blaxploitation films have always been the raised, gloved fist (and middle finger) of movie genres. In the ’60s, Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte carried the heavy burden of making blacks non-threatening to a skittish white America frightened by rising civil rights demands. And they did so brilliantly, with intelligence, grace and dignity. But as the civil rights battles in the streets and in the courts escalated, impatient and frustrated African-Americans looked for the kind of cinematic action heroes who defended the weak and risked everything to bring the kind of justice they knew they wouldn’t find in the racist American justice system.
We currently live in a world where marginalized people need superheroes to believe in to help them get through the day. When your spirit has been broken, you’ll take what you can get. That’s something I don’t think many on the outside understand. There’s full communities of broken people in this nation and there’s no excuse for that to exist. We can do better.