Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Bruce Lee Lives!
On November 27, 1940, Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco, CA. His parents, Hong Kong denizens and entertainers, were performing in the U.S. when Bruce was born. They all returned shortly to Hong Kong, where he was raised, until his late teens, when he was sent to Seattle to live with some relatives because of the "gang" activity he had become involved with in Hong Kong. The rest is, essentially, history. He studied at the University of Washington, where he met his wife, Linda, and began teaching his unique style of martial arts, jeet kune do. He relocated to Oakland, CA to open a martial arts school and then moved to Los Angeles to begin his Hollywood career. But racism and stereotypes kept him out of the series he co-created, Kung-Fu (which infamously starred David Carradine in yellowface) so he moved back to Hong Kong and began his international film career and became a martial arts action movie star, until his early tragic death on July 20, 1973.
Bruce Lee is the enduring icon of Asian American subjectivity. He is a transnational citizen. He is an embodiment of Asian American masculinity. He is a figure of justice in his films (he's always fighting for the underdog) and a figure of fighting for racial equity and equality in his life.
Happy Birthday Bruce--you would have been 67 this year. May you rest in peace--may your legacy and legend live on.
Bruce Lee's gravesite in Seattle