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Tim Story

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Shaft | Tim Story

June 13, 2019

Gordon Parks’s 1971 Shaft is now almost 50 years old. The film didn’t begin the blaxploitation subgenre, but it was certainly its most popular example up until that time — and both the title character and the actor who played him, Richard Roundtree, quickly became icons of Blackness and Black cinema. Shaft is a slow-moving detective film, not a thriller or an action picture, and the character is defined less by his race (in the source novel Shaft is white, as was…

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