Last year’s BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ‘Living Legend’ Award went to actress and icon Pam Grier. Better known for her roles as Foxy Brown and Jackie Brown, this Emmy and Golden Globe nominee reigned supreme as the queen of 1970s blaxploitation films. Offering an alternative to the hackneyed Mammy, Jezebel, and Sapphire characters, Grier introduced movie-goers to a new black woman who embodied independence, power, and, of course, revolution.
Like a true legend, Grier preluded the quintessential female heroine. Many of the characters that Grier portrayed were staunch upholders of justice who could hold their own both intellectually and physically with the boys, all the while exuding bold femininity and glamour. Moreover, her flawless afro implicitly advocated black pride to influential young black viewers, demonstrating an alternative to Euro-centric standards of beauty. Nevertheless, when casting for the same role that Grier established, Hollywood continues to overlook our talented black actresses, instead opting for Angelina Jolie, Zhang Ziyi, Mila Jovovich, or Uma Thurman. Hollywood refuses to wise up, so in the meantime, we here at BLACK GIRLS ROCK! will continue to provide you with your daily dose of black starlets.