Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity
Beacon Press, 2002 - 216 pages
A revolutionary reappraisal of Afro-Asian relationships that will change multiculturalism as we know it
In this landmark work, historian Vijay Prashad refuses to engage the typical racial discussion that matches people of color against each other while institutionalizing the primacy of the white majority. Instead, he examines more than five centuries of remarkable historical evidence of cultural and political interaction between Blacks and Asians around the world, in which they have exchanged cultural and religious symbols, appropriated personas and lifestyles, and worked together to achieve political change. From the Shivites of Jamaica who introduced Ganja and dreadlocks to the Afro-Jamaicans; to Ho Chi Minh the Garveyite; to Japanese-American Richard Aoki, a charter member of the Black Panthers, Prashad shows that African- and Asian-derived movements and culture, like all others, have been porous rather than discrete.
"Kung Fu is a treasury of hidden histories and startling solidarities. But Prashad is not simply celebratory: he also takes on the 'primordialism'
of Afrocentrists and Asian nationalists in a book that is both unapologetically radical and alive to paradox."
—The Village Voice, "Our 25 Favorite Books of 2001"
"Prashad makes a bold statement in a field often mired in redundancy."
—Benjamin King, AsianWeek
"Prashad demolishes the conservative conceits of ethnic essentialism and so-called multiculturalism. In the usual dead zone of debate about identity politics, this little book is a refreshing oasis of original insight and unexpected affinity."
—Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz and Late Victorian Holocausts
Vijay Prashad is director and associate professor of international studies at Trinity College and the author of The Karma of Brown Folk. He lives in Hartford, Connecticut.
What people are saying - Write a review
Psuedo-intellectual, this book has some very good ideas and good points but htey get lost along the way. the author deals in totalities, making grand statements without reference and then referring to them later as if the were fact. Also he chooses certain sentence constructions and uses them over and over to the point of exhaustion. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND.