Blaxploitation Friday: 'Claudine' - GangStarr Girl : GangStarr Girl

Blaxploitation Friday: ‘Claudine’

[ 0 ] December 3, 2010 |



1974

I decided to bring this series back. I’m starting over from the beginning.

Here’s the backstory: I transferred my blog from Blogspot to WordPress earlier this year and for some reason my blogger posts don’t want to budge automatically. What I mean by that is, on my WordPress backend, there’s a function that allows you to transfer blogs seamlessly but it’s not working for my blog. I can’t figure it out and neither can any of the tech savvy web designers that I’ve asked so the only other option is to transfer them manually. I featured about 80 movies so manual just isn’t going to happen. Besides, there are some things I’d do differently and I never get enough of all things Blaxploitation and neither can you ( I was surprised by how much love this series got) so here’s the post the started it all…

(From the original Blogspot post)

I’m trying something new. I absolutely love blaxploitation movies (and plan to amass as large of a DVD collection as I can). There was a lot of controversy surrounding them because some people felt that they often portrayed blacks in a negative, stereotypical way but on the flipside, they had a message of black empowerment. They’re just so awesomely bad (in the dictionary and slang meanings of that word) that I can’t resist. I see both sides but I lean more toward the positive. Plus, in addition to the actual plots, action and story lines (or lack thereof), their attitudes, the fashion and the music were right on! But I digress.

Claudine starred Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones (Darth Vador as the love interest? lol) and it depicted the life of a single mother, six children, on welfare as she struggled to take care of her family. She fell in love (Jones’ character) and finally started to get financial, mental and emotional support from a genuine man who accepted she and her family. However, a nosey social worker interferes and threatens her welfare benefits because if Claudine is in a relationship then the benefits stop (this is where The Man comes in to play, trying to keep black women single and the black family structure broken, smh, lol). Overall it’s a complex tail of poor black life in urban America and the typical struggles of single black women and black male anger. It’s rife with messages about how the “system” is racist and corrupt, and why black people need to uplift themselves for themselves. (Power to the people! lol).

*Diahann Carroll was nominated for an Oscar for the role.

P.S. Gladys Knight and the Pips held it down for the soundtrack a la Curtis Mayfield’s pen!

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Category: Blaxploitation Friday, Music, Pop Culture, TV/Film

About the Author ()

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a recovering journalist who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun-toting B-movie heroine.