Black audiences have always had great relationships with martial arts movies. Many black action/martial arts stars of today were influenced positively by old school martial arts movies and many old school black karate and kung fu pioneers were influenced by the martial arts. Legends such as Master Ron Van Clief, Master Jim Kelly, Master Steve (Sanders) Muhammed, Master Donnie Williams, Fred Williamson and many others have had great impact on the culture of martial arts and martial arts movies. The Film Fan Dojo wants to acknowledge Black History month with a series of posts, video tributes, and movie reviews of some of the well-known and not so well known Black martial arts action stars, masters, stunt men, and actors that have contributed great things to the genre we love.
To get started check out these essays on black audiences and kung fu movies:
For a longer, more academic read go to Dr. Sundiata K Cha Jua’s article.