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"Baad Bitches" and Sassy Supermamas: Black Power Action Films (New Black Studies Series) Paperback – August 4, 2008

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dunn puts the whole blaxploitation experience into logical context, explaining the social conditions of the era relating to race and gender that affected how the black community observed these films. . . . An essential companion to the black film studies genre. Recommended."--Library Journa

 

"An irreverent and well-intentioned appeal to rethink how we talk about black women in popular culture as capable of being both sexy blues women and erudite thinkers."--Journal of American Ethnic History


"With insightful perspectives and sharp analysis, "Baad Bitches" & Sassy Supermamas offers a critical reexamination of sexualized film representations of African American women, and sheds much-needed light on historical constructions of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality."--The Journal of African American History

"Sharply observed, well-written survey of African American action films of the 1970s. . . . Dunn goes much further into these films than scholars of previous studies have. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice



"Intellectually stimulating and immediately accessible."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Book Description

This lively study unpacks the intersecting racial, sexual, and gender politics underlying the representations of racialized bodies, masculinities, and femininities in early 1970s black action films, with particular focus on the representation of black femininity. Stephane Dunn explores the typical, sexualized, subordinate positioning of women in low-budget blaxploitation action narratives as well as more seriously radical films like Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and The Spook Who Sat by the Door, in which black women are typically portrayed as trifling "bitches" compared to the supermacho black male heroes. The terms "baad bitches" and "sassy supermamas" signal the reversal of this positioning with the emergence of supermama heroines in the few black action films in the early 1970s that featured self-assured, empowered, and tough (or "baad") black women as protagonists: Cleopatra Jones, Coffy, and Foxy Brown.

Dunn offers close examination of a distinct moment in the history of African American representation in popular cinema, tracing its emergence out of a radical political era, influenced especially by the Black Power movement and feminism. "Baad Bitches" and Sassy Supermamas also engages blaxploitation's impact and lingering aura in contemporary hip-hop culture as suggested by its disturbing gender politics and the "baad bitch daughters" of Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones, rappers Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown.  

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Product Details

  • Series: New Black Studies Series
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (August 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 025207548X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252075483
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I am excited to get thru this however I wasn't aware that there was so many notes from the previous owner throughout the book..that was kind of off putting . But I cant wait to find a min or some quiet time to dive into this subject that is still essential to even today
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Format: Paperback
Dunn is the first author to examine blaxploitation movies and African American actresses contributions to this genre. Her premise is original--that sassy supermamas were the mothers of today's hip hop artists like Lil Kim and Foxy Brown and that Grier and Dobson's characters represented empowerment and independence. Leaving aside the colloquisms that dominate the book, Dunn writes in an accessible style. It is about time that for a book to appear about Pam Grier and Tamara Dobson, the original sassy supermamas as Dunn's title suggests.
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