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Contribution to Book
Black Audiences, Blaxploitation and Kung Fu Films, and Challenges to White Celluloid Masculinity
China Forever: The Shaw Brothers and Diasporic Cinema (2008)
  • Sundiata K Cha-Jua
Abstract

The roots of African Americans’ attraction to kung fu films are deeply embed- ded in their sociohistorical experiences. Simply put, it is a product of blacks’ political and cultural resistance to racial oppression. Although “repression breeds resistance,” opposing oppression is never simple; it is always varied and complex. Resistance is as likely to include cross-cutting strategies and discourses as mutually reinforcing ones. Two different but overlapping ideo- logical discourses, Pan-Africanism and Black Internationalism, help explain African Americans’ fascination with kung fu films. Pan-Africanists view the diverse dispersed peoples of African descent as one family. And perhaps, more importantly, they locate black unity in similar, if not common, national experi- ences of racial domination, discrimination, and degradation. Pan-Africanists believe that until African-descended people coordinate their resources to create a United States of Africa, they will never experience freedom, justice, and self-determination. Black Internationalism is also a direct outgrowth of African Americans’ meditation on and engagement in world affairs. According to Marc Gallicchio, “black internationalists believed that, as victims of racism and imperialism, the world’s darker races, a term they employed to describe the non-European world, shared a common interest in overthrowing white supremacy and creating an international order based on racial equality.” Al- though different in emphasis, both Pan-Africanism and Black International- ism have their roots in Black Nationalist opposition to racial oppression.

Publication Date
2008
Editor
Poshek Fu
Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Series
Popular Culture and Politics in Asia Pacific
ISBN
9780252075001
Citation Information
Sundiata K Cha-Jua. "Black Audiences, Blaxploitation and Kung Fu Films, and Challenges to White Celluloid Masculinity" Chicago and Urbana IllinoisChina Forever: The Shaw Brothers and Diasporic Cinema (2008)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sundiata_chajua/4/