Standard Article

Black Crossover Cinema

4. 1976 to the Present

3. 1989–1998

  1. Keith Harris

Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470671153.wbhaf079

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

How to Cite

Harris, K. 2011. Black Crossover Cinema. The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film. 4:3:77.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2011


The mid-1980s witnessed the emergence of what scholars have come to call the New Black Cinema. This broad category encompasses a range of trends and subcycles, including black noirs, the gangsta film, the ghetto action film, ghetto centric noirs, the black gangster film, new jack cinema, and films that are sometimes grouped under the category rapsloitation. With such obvious overlap it is difficult to insist upon hard and fast distinctions. Despite the interchangeability of categories, a number of films have distinguished themselves with mainstream audiences and earned sufficient critical recognition to now be thought of as “black crossover cinema.” For the purpose of this essay, I have chosen to isolate an exploitative cycle and an essential strain of Black Crossover Cinema — the popular hood film.1


  • black crossover cinema;
  • black cinema;
  • gangsta film;
  • hood film;
  • new black cinema;
  • African American film