Pam Grier in Foxy Brown (1974, dir. Jack Hill)

As for “blaxploitation” – the genre under which her movies Coffy and Foxy Brown were known – is that a term she’s happy with today?

“I have no issues with the word, but you have to ask, who do they mean is being exploited? Is it because these movies were the first ones to show black people kicking white butt? Is that black exploitation? Or is it when a female steps into action chases – now it’s blaxploitation? We ran for months in movie theatres, keeping the mainstream [white] films out. They needed to get rid of us — and I know this, I used to hear the distributors talk about it. So how do you get rid of us? Create dissent. Say that it’s exploitative. Make people feel bad about it.” 


I think of her as Amanda Waller now.

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