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Why so many black people love kung fu

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Scottish Sikhs and Hasidic Jews from Borough Park, eh...?

Well, no offense, but some of the responses here remind me of those vacuous slogans on 'answer t-shirts' to 'Black Lives Matter'... like 'White Lives Matter' or  'All Lives Matter', etc.

Fact is that from the early 70's on Kung Fu had an infinitely stronger impact on black popular culture than on any other outside the place of its origin.

If, like me, you grew up infatuated with African-American or Jamaican music, you'd eventually came across classic Kung Fu cinema  and found it easy to develop a lasting relationship with its heroes - and probably even more so with its most notorious villains... 😅

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It was reference a lot in the black community during that time. And now it is widely reference around the world. Everybody loves kung fu fighting! Hell, Donald Trump's favorite movie of all time is Bloodsport, LMAO. Yes, that donald trump. Yang Gang!! 

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It seems more an individual people thing than a race thing. I've known different people from the same race that one loved the genre and another couldn't stand. I don't agree with saying one race loves it or relates to it more than another. Everybody sees things from their own perspective so I'm not saying lm right or others are wrong and  respect everyone's point of view.

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Well, put it this way. I'm Scottish and in a historical sense we as a people have always been shitey warriors with martial arts. In battle, the Scots were about the only men to go out in skirts. In terms of Chinese martial arts cinema, I have no doubt at all in my mind that a large part of it's following was in the African American community, especially the Shaw movies, with the underdog theme. They presented stories of outnumbered people standing against odds with tyranny which to a large extent, the marginalized African American communities, from what I speculate the generally held perspective to be, could relate to with their experiences of institutionalized racism and segregation under the Jim Crowe laws, police brutality and living as a community under the laws created by people who imported their ancestors as slaves, resulting an mass incarceration from kangeroo courts and racial bias in the legal system. In a way, based on a few interviews I watched with the RZA and having spoken about kung fu movie to others,. I beleive that a lot of the black audiences could relate to the Hans in the movies, being under the rule of the Manchu and their struggle for emancipation in the shadow of tyranny. One time, the two major film studios in Hong Kong producing chop socky movies were Cathay and Shaws as everyone in here knows. All of the Cathay movieals are lost now other thàn the pan scan betamax prints because they didn't have the following that the Shaw Bros movies did which were released widely in the West. That's why the Shaw moviea are popular but Cathay arent. Almost nobody in Hong Kong likes Kung Fu movies anymore, the main market is in the States where they still remain a major influence in African American culture, serving as an inspiration for The Wu Tang Clan and a lot of the RZAs music and a lot of the art scene.

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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Joe Dante's 1973 review of Deep Thrust mentions the black market as a key demographic - https://trailersfromhell.com/deep-thrust/

The kung fu boom in the US was fairly mainstream from the release of Five Fingers of Death onwards but died a death with Sacred Knives of Vengeance, becoming a fixture of the urban grindhouses.

 

 

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Valid points guys. But when you get right down to it most people (as in the human race) imo are attracted to the martial arts genre for the cool ass way of fighting. If blacks loved and helped popularize the genre and kept it from dying then all us fans should be grateful. I can understand if they could relate to being the underdog because of a history of discrimination, but all people have felt like the underdog at times in their life and felt abused or bullied as well, l know I sure have. That's one reason why I was drawed to these movies and have practiced martial arts for over 30 years. We can't erase or change history, I wish all people could just find common ground and come together instead of trying to draw lines of separation.

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3 hours ago, CT KID said:

Valid points guys. But when you get right down to it most people (as in the human race) imo are attracted to the martial arts genre for the cool ass way of fighting. If blacks loved and helped popularize the genre and kept it from dying then all us fans should be grateful. I can understand if they could relate to being the underdog because of a history of discrimination, but all people have felt like the underdog at times in their life and felt abused or bullied as well, l know I sure have. That's one reason why I was drawed to these movies and have practiced martial arts for over 30 years. We can't erase or change history, I wish all people could just find common ground and come together instead of trying to draw lines of separation.

Word up man. Respect 🕊️

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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Quote

In 1973 American audiences of all kinds were on a massive kung fu high – from late March to mid-October, six Hong Kong films held the No 1 spot, with around 15 successful imports in total – but it was the urban black crowd in fleapit theatres who kept the flame alight after the craze died down.

 

Why Bruce Lee and kung fu films hit home with black audiences

Link-https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2012/jul/18/bruce-lee-films-black-audiences

 

 

 

Quote

I remember the first time I caught glimpses of Rumble in the Bronx, sitting in front of a TV older than I was, at my home in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I was entranced by the images of Jackie Chan and his fight scenes, not truly knowing why. For the years to follow, my love for martial arts cinema only grew. I’d get weird glances telling people how I would rather watch Five Deadly Venoms than Martin or the NBA playoffs.

 

Real Recognize Real: Black People and Kung Fu Cinema

Link- https://medium.com/@ejtanner/real-recognize-real-black-people-and-kung-fu-cinema-1d24e02a6152

 

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Speaking of which, did you see Blood and Bone with Michael Jai White? I thought it was bloody phenomenal and was an excellent tribute to the blaxploitation martial arts genre. Great characters, plenty of action, funny bits and violence. Definitely needs a sequel.

Would also recommend Black Dynamite, loved the stylized filming and use of Super 16 film. Good combination of classic and postmodern filmmaking. Good fun midnight movie.

 

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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6 hours ago, Graeme Of Death said:

I doubt Kung Fu films were, or are any more popular with black people than any other western demographic. 

You're wrong. Witness the truly uncalculable impact that kung fu cinema had on black popular culture. Think 70's black street culture, the influence of, say, Venoms movies on early rap music, dress code, hell, even on breakdance moves ! (that beetle-on-the-back tavern fight in CRIPPLED AVENGERS was pure b-boy shit, yo!)

Or think of the fu fever that swept Reggae & Dancehall culture in Jamaica in the late 70's / early 80's. Wasn't no niche business as it was in Germany or the UK, it was all over the place and all over the public imagination on Planet Reggae! Like, when you went to sound system dances and watch the girls modelling inna dem kung fu shoes, while  screw-faced bredrin holding their Heinekens and  spliffs talkin' 'bout the badman t'ing in relation of who did the wickedest killings in the latest fu flick they caught at the usually packed Majestic cinema in East-Kingston. (Leung Kar Yan, known a 'Brigadeer' in Jamaica, would have received a hero's welcome in those days!) Or by extension: dem times you'd walk into a cinema in North or South London when a kung fu picture was screening and it was like... bare yardies! And noisy and physically  agitated ta raas!

And going to cinemas in West Africa in the 80's and early 90's... most of the time you had to choose between an Indian melodrama or a kung fu movie. Those were the cinematic staples!

Edited by Sheng

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4 hours ago, DragonClaws said:

 

According to a well known 1974 Carl Douglas song, EVERYBODY Was Kung Fu Fighting.

 

 

 

 

Everytime I hear that song it puts me in the mood to watch some kungfu flicks, kinda like hearing the Bee Gees makes me want to dance. 70s music was cool and funky man!

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16 hours ago, Sheng said:

Wasn't no niche business as it was in Germany or the UK

 

It might be niche thing in Eureope now but for a time it was a huge craze in the 70's. You had Carl Douglas at the top of the music chart's, Kung Fu with David Carradine on T.V, and Hong Kong cinema dominated the cinema's for a short time. They were even selling Hai Karate after shave. It really saturated popular culture, so much so. The infleunce and spark it created, never really died.

Not to mention the fact the law appraoched the film rating boards/censors, becuase they were fed up taking Martial Art weapons off fighting youth's. Recall reading a story, were all the kids at some posh private school had torn the chain of the toilet's. In order to make there own nunchaku, or to simply use them like a chain.

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