Before the 1970s, opportunities for Black women in film were limited. African-American actresses were often relegated to roles as “mammies” or “tragic mulattos.”
With films like “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown,” actress Pamela Suzette Grier introduced a new character, the black heroine, to mainstream movie audiences. Born in Winston-Salem, NC, Grier became the first leading actress in an action flick, which noted a dramatic shift for black women in film. Dale Pollock, a film producer and professor of cinema studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, joins host Frank Stasio to talk about Pam Grier and her mark on women in film.