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The Black Kungfu Experience

Channel 3
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Produced and Directed by Martha Burr & Mei-Juin Chen 

57 Minutes

This action-packed documentary chronicles the struggle of kungfu’s black pioneers and heroes, exploring the intersection of African-American and Asian cultures. The film traces the rise of the black kungfu experience in the 1960s and 70s, and then reconnects with the contemporary martial arts scene in Washington D.C, Los Angeles, The Virgin Islands, Jamaica and Hong Kong. We see how Chinese and African-American experiences evolve differently yet converge unexpectedly in the fight against political and social persecution – from the Qing government’s oppressive rule in China, and British colonialism in Hong Kong, to entrenched American racism – a battle waged with kungfu.

Critical Response

The film focuses on a group of African American pioneers who became respected masters in a sub-culture dominated by Chinese and white men. Their stories illustrate how kungfu was – and still is – a unique crucible of the black experience, which is less about flash and style, kicks and punches, than it is about community, identity, and cross-cultural bridges. - IndieWire


Harlem International Film Festival

Hollywood Black Film Festival

Pan African Film and Arts Festival


History   Sports   Urban Life   Arts & Artists   African American   Asian

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