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Dazzling, highly stylized, excessively violent and brimming with sex, blaxploitation films enjoyed a brief but memorable period in motion picture history. Never before -- and never since -- have so many African American performers been featured in films, not in bit parts, but in name-above-the-title starring roles. Today, blaxploitation films are enjoying a renaissance. Not only do the pictures continue to captivate film fans, but the entire genre, with its bevy of colourful, utterly-contemporary film characters, irresistible soundtrack albums and catchy film titles, is finally taking its rightful place among the entertainment industry's most enjoyed, and influential, movies. This is the first truly comprehensive examination of the genre, its films, its trends and its far-reaching impact, covering more than 240 blaxploitation films in detail. Includes lots of art (mostly b&w, a fair amount of color). "Josiah Howard's book is frankly the best guide on the subject that I have ever seen." -Jack Hill, director of Coffy and Foxy Brown.