Zhangyang (Charlie) Xie

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20232024 Forum on Revolution

Zhangyang (Charlie) Xie

Executive Board, Wolf Undergraduate Humanities Forum
Africana Studies; Science, Technology, and Society

CAS, 2024

Zhangyang is a senior majoring in Africana Studies and Science, Technology, and Society. A student of diverse academic interests, his past research focused on religion, history of science, and race. His recent research projects focused on American religious groups during the Civil Rights Movement, COVID-19 in China, and the Black Panther Party’s martial arts. His senior thesis in Africana Studies, “Grappling Culture: How the Black Panther Party Addressed Colonial and Urban Anxieties through Martial Arts,” is based on The Black Panther newspaper at the Kislak Center, where he currently works as the assistant community curator. In his free time, Zhangyang enjoys going to aquariums, exploring Philly, and listening to music.

Grappling Culture: How the Black Panther Party Addressed Colonial and Urban Anxieties through Martial Arts

Existing literature on the Black Panther Party and martial arts mostly focuses on how martial arts contributed to the Black Panther Party survival programs. Yet, few if any have focused on the role, intention, and effect of The Black Panther newspaper in promoting martial arts programs of the party. This paper fills in the gap by systematically analyzing The Black Panther newspaper as an attempt to help further explain the Party’s stance on Oriental culture and American cultural politics using its representation of martial arts as heuristic and framing device. I argue that the Black Panther Party’s martial arts, as a part of survival programs, is an American invention that addressed the party’s colonial and urban anxieties. This paper contributes to the growing literature on Afro-Asian relations and cultural hybridity and suggests that the Black Atlantic culture is simultaneously Asian.