Ales & Ideas presents Blaxploitation in Film History, with Ron Craig


December 4, 2020    
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Event Type

Clatsop Community College and the Fort George Brewery + Public House are pleased to announce the December event in the 2020-21 Ales & Ideas lecture series—broadcast from the Lovell Showroom via Facebook LIVE. On Thursday, December 3, 7pm Astoria’s Ron Craig, Executive Director of the Astoria International Film Festival will present Blaxploitation in Film History.

The arts can open doors to cultural diversity, providing models for inclusivity; and the arts can also perpetuate cultural stereotypes and contribute to prejudice and systemic discrimination. Studying Blaxploitation films of the 1970s provides a window into a little-known cultural history of Black America. Ron Craig’s presentation will build upon the approach of Raoul Peck’s I Am Not A Negro to discuss a number of films deemed controversial when the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recognized the depiction of urban Blacks as demeaning. Explore the cultural legacy of films like Watermelon Man (1970), Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), Super Fly (1972), and Blacula (1972) and more. Ron will also consider the role of African American music in Hollywood and briefly address the horrifying depiction of indigenous people in the Western genre of “cowboys and Indians” fictionalized big screen drama. Ron hopes audience members will leave with a great understanding of Blaxplotiation films as one lens for understanding US history in ways that open doors to a better future.

Ron Craig is a filmmaker, author and Executive Director of the Astoria International Film Festival who has played a special role in the film history of the Pacific Northwest through his 20+year history with historical character of York. This began with his role in a 1999 documentary, ”Who Was York? A New Look at the Lewis and Clark Expedition” and included Craig attended a 2001 White House ceremony in which York received the honorary rank of sergeant. Craig has received multiple awards including the African American Preservation Alliance Award in 2005; the Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Documentary, and a Regional Emmy nomination for his 2004 documentary, ”Searching for York” (Oregon Public Broadcasting). Craig founded the Astoria International Film Festival in 2006 (more information at and has also taught film history, including Blaxploitation film, at Portland State University. Born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in the Irvington community of Portland, Ron has lived in Astoria full time the past six years.

Declaration- It is the policy of Clatsop Community College that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, gender, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or disability in any educational programs, activities, or employment. Questions or complaints should be directed to Desiree Noah, Affirmative Action/Gender Equity (Title IX) Officer, Lower Library, Suite 103, 503-338- 2450; TDD 503-338-2468. The Director of Student Access Services, Mallory Vollner, is in Columbia Hall, Suite 111, 503-338-2474.

Accommodations- Persons having questions about or a request for special needs and accommodation should contact JoAnn Zahn, Vice President of Finance and Operations, at Clatsop Community College, 1651 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, Oregon 97103, Lower Library Suite 110, Phone (503) 338-2421 or TDD (503) 338-2468. Please send special needs and accommodations requests here. Contact should be made at least two business days in advance of the event.