From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Hey Jason! Thanks for joining the site. If you need any help editing the pages etc, just let me know. - cheers, Pete
Sweetback: Well when I first saw the film I didnt think it really qualified as what we now regard as exploitation via Blaxploitation but was def a precursor to it. I considered it more of an indie arthouse/cult film about a black man. So I didnt categorize it in the blax genre. For me, Shaft is the official first true film of the Blax genre since its a studio made crime movie with the iconic black hero.
"critic Roger Ebert, commenting on a review of the 2004 film about the making of sweetback, did not consider this example of Van Peebles' work to be an exploitation film."