Before We Were Ratchet.

Today’s guest post comes from Asia El, she has guest posted before. You know how we do, let’s show her love her second time around.

My love affair with Blaxploitation films began at a very young age. By the time I was twelve I had transitioned from Judy Blume to Donald Goines. “Dopefiend” horrified me and convinced me to never do drugs. Superfly was handsome and smooth, Christie Love kicked azz in heels, and Rudy Ray Moore was a comedy pioneer. Black men wearing colorful tailored suits, their hard bottomed dress shoes click-clacking on the pavement as they chased or ran from “The Man”, and those fight scenes that were not quite karate. Oh, and the music. Some of those movies were scored by Quincy Jones, Earth, Wind and Fire, Curtis Mayfield, and Isaac Hayes… Can you dig it?

Can You Dig it...Sucka?
Can You Dig it…Sucka?

What I found most fascinating about the movies were the terms used to describe Black women. We were foxy, brown sugar, cocoa skinned, honey lipped, and Afro puffed. The thigh high boots enhanced toned, brown beautiful legs, the mini skirts, big Afros, and real body parts celebrated our natural design. I know what you’re thinking, a large majority of the films were pimp and hoe tales of redemption, and you are correct. However, we were not ratchet. A gratuitous sex scene to showcase bronzed butts and chocolate nipples were a guarantee, and yet… Not ratchet. I was attracted to the righteous attitudes justified by the principles of equality and justice. Blaxploitation films mirrored the climate of the time, or at least the idea of Robin Hood like-motives.

It’s fair to say, these movies could have easily been the the spark that started the swag fire, the over sexualized portrayals of Black people, and the perpetuation of “blame it on the man” mentality. It was easily an exaggeration of Blackness and the ultimate display of a televised revolution. It was many things, and yet here we find our selves, not evolved enough to not be ratchet.


Check out her blog And be sure to reach find her on Facebook and twitter at GlossBoss (Asia El) and Twitter @GlossBossEl

7 thoughts on “Before We Were Ratchet.

  1. “the over sexualized portrayals of Black people, and the perpetuation of “blame it on the man” mentality.” Was around long before the blaxploitation films and “the man” usually had a hand in the shyt.

    Nice article though, we all did at least get to see ourselves on the big screen finally.

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