TV Club: When Luke Cage adds kung fu to the mix, its world gets richer

In the 1970s, the only two places to see a non-white action hero was either in a kung fu film or a blaxploitation one. The two genres came together in Enter The Dragon starring Bruce Lee and Jim Kelly, who went on to star in several martial-arts inspired blaxploitation films. One model for a kung fu hero is the outsider challenging the system, upholding the legacy of his mentor and living by his own code. Sound like anyone we know? I’m not going to say that Luke Cage is also a kung fu movie while also being a blaxploitation homage. But there are thematic and stylistic choices that blaxploitation and hip-hop take from kung fu. Like Dead Prez said “They say karate means ‘empty hands’ / So then it’s perfect for the poor man.”

What brings up these references to kung fu movies? The introduction of Wu-Tang Clan, whose …

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