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Nathaniel "Cornbread" Hamilton was the black urban dream and a hero to youngsters Wilford Robinson and Earl Carter. Shortly before he would have become the first man from his community to go to college, he demonstrates his scholarship-winning running ability to his friends and admirers in the neighborhood. At the same time, the police are on a manhunt for an armed rapist. They mistake Cornbread for the rapist and shoot him dead in the street. In the aftermath of the community's shattered dream, and in the face of an intimidating police cover-up, Wilford is determined not to betray the memory of his hero. —SamBlob
a sharply mixed bag
The film does have a moderately intriguing mesage about polkice brutality and political corruption being obscenely hoisted upon African American communities in the urban United States. That said, the film is horribly dated, and elements of it are unnacceptable by today's standards. I mean the slain icon's name is Cornbread for Pete's sake!!! Where wre his cohorts Fried Chicken and Watermelon? Moreover, the societal corruption is presented in a way that makes us feel sad and powerless rather than angry and indignant. This is really a product of the early seventies Blaxploitation genre that would be utterly offensive by today's standards were it not for the still relevant and timely subject matter of the film. Worthwhile viewing for those who can differentiate between the message and the overdone elements. I fear, however, that the film's excess could leave white biggots laughing at the maudlin African American stereotypes on parade rather than addressing the political concerns of the film at all.
- Dec 13, 2001
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