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by Yessica Garcia Hernandez

The film, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, follows the life of Sweetback, a male sex worker, who got into trouble with the police after helping a young Black Panther. Sweetback is surrounded by a biker gang in an abandoned warehouse. The gang is preventing him from from leaving and makes him duel with their leader, Prez. He decides to have a duel to outfuck Prez and make her orgasm first. As he’s about to lay on top of her there’s a freeze-frame as he takes off his hat; his signature move that the he developed from his first sexual encounter. He powerfully grabs Prez by her milky white thighs and spreads her legs around him. Prez is visibly enjoying the sex, as she wraps her arms around Sweetback and the camera switches to a close-up of her smiling. All of a sudden her legs shoot out into the air and shake uncontrollably and she screams Sweetback’s name. Sweetback grabs his hat and stands up as another freeze-frame highlights him with his signature hat. The last frame of the scene shows the bikers leaving while Prez is still laying on her back, breathing heavily.

The only interracial scene in the movie displays Sweetback’s change in power, switching from a submissive role to the dominant partner in his exchange with Prez. Throughout the movie we see Sweetback being directed around and given commands by black women, but in this scene he asserts himself. It is the only scene where we see Sweetback take agency, as Van Peebles explores the trope of the hypermasculine, dominant black male. Contrasted by the red hair and the pale white skin of Prez, Sweetback takes control of her until she orgasms.

Sweetback Biker Scene

Sweetback is forced by a biker gang to have sex with their leader, Prez. If he wins he is free to go and if he loses the gang will attack him.

from Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
Creator: Melvin Van Peebles
Distributor: Cinemation Industries
Posted by Yessica Garcia Hernandez