Are you ready for bone-crushing, skull-splitting, brain-blasting action?! ‘Cause it’s time to go on a wild ride with the biggest badasses in cinema history. Thanks to Bounce TV, there’s a new streaming app called Brown Sugar which contains over 100 different films from the era of “blaxploitation.” From Shaft to Coffy, and Sweetback to Cleopatra Jones… you ain’t ready for this much high-octane funk and action.
For those who’ve missed out on some of the most pertinent films of the 20th century, blaxploitation refers to a genre of 1970’s films. Made for urban African-American audiences, the controversial movies mixed action, comedy, and social commentary, often with over-the-top cliches and violence. In fact, these films were initially opposed by progressive groups like the NAACP and National Urban League, who felt they only reinforced stereotypes and criminal behavior.
Despite these claims, blaxpoitation films became popular with black and white audiences alike. African-Americans found the characters and stories empowering, an angry, loud response to a segregated Hollywood (and world). White audiences were drawn in by the unique language, culture, and music. These films were the mainstream’s first exposure to funk and modern soul, making a lasting impression on soundtracks and pop music alike. If not for blaxploitation’s mark on history, we might never have had some of the greatest names in black cinema or hip-hop.
Of course, the release of Brown Sugar has become even more important these days. During a time when hate crimes are on the rise and politicians blatantly press for discriminatory legislation, the pertinence is not lost. Minorities rising against threats, especially racist white authorities? Stories that speak the language and culture of the black community? A big middle finger to those who want to roll things back a half-century? Many people got a taste of this with Netflix’s latest Marvel series; now you can watch the inspiration for that in its original form.
Now that you’re in the know, you able to handle godfathers, drug dealers, undercover agents, and vengeful nurses? Brown Sugar works just like Netflix, with a subscription fee ($3.99/month) that allows streaming of their library. They have over 100 films already, with more on the way, so this is entirely worth every penny.
In a time of uncertainty and fear, you gotta find the heat that stirs the blood. Brown Sugar is the perfect solution to an imperfect world, taking the past and slamming it into the face of modern viewers. Unabashed, unedited, and uninterrupted, if we’re gonna roll back the clock, then might as well be to the hot and dangerous 70’s.
Whether you’re a cold mutha’ that’s been down for years, or some jive-turkey just taking your first step into that funky world… strap in, kick it into overdrive and bring the revolution.
Can you dig it?