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Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity Paperback – November 18, 2002
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"Finally! A book that just might bring an end to all the silly talk of 'identity politics.' Vijay Prashad's powerful, original essays reveal that neither brown skins nor cultural commonalities explain the long and dynamic history of Afro-Asian solidarity. Rather, the answer lay in dreams of emancipation, dreams borne of Empire but nourished in the imaginations of so-called colored people who had to learn to trust each other in the trenches. This is one complicated and uncompleted journey we all need to know about." -Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
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Top Customer Reviews
In many ways, reading this book is like one of those lively and entertaining conversations you have in British pubs with the local sagacious man: Prashad describes some tantalizing connections between Black and Asian liberation struggles and just as you think, "Aha, here comes the good bit", he does the authorly equivalent of popping off to the lavatory. And when he comes back, he has another bright idea to tell you about, and there's no sign at all of the first one.
In all fairness to Prashad, the tidbits he has to recount are pretty interesting. For example he notes that W.D. Fard, the inspiration behind Elijah Mohammed's bizarre origin myth for the Nation of Islam was actually a New Zealander (half South Asian and half Maori) who came across the US border with Canada as an illegal immigrant in 1913. He also talks briefly about the truly inspiring AJA leftist Yuri Kochiyama, who worked with Malcolm and cradled his head as he lay dying at the Roseland ballroom. But there's no follow through. We wonder in vain as to what the implications or lessons of these vignettes are but Prashad never tells us.
The most useful part of the book is the first half where Prashad presents a very useful theoretical analysis of the way race has been conceptualized and can be conceptualized in the future as a path to more effective and ongoing coalitions and hence to more effective social justice work.
Prashad distinguishes 4 different modes for thinking about race: colorblindness, primordialism, multiculturalism and what he calls polyculturalism.Read more ›