Eddie Huang

Eddie Huang: ‘I Turned to Black Culture for Solidarity’

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Eddie Huang​, director of the new movie, “Boogie” and author of “Fresh Off The Boat,” sat down for an interview with Karen Hunter and Drew McCaskill about the cultural cross-over and how he gravitated toward Hip-Hop.

“Boogie,” tells the story of Alfred “Boogie” Chin (Taylor Takahashi), a basketball prodigy of Asian descent from New York. Boogie has dreams of joining the NBA but has to battle against racism and take a stand against cultural family traditions to achieve his goal.

“Boogie” opened in select theaters stateside this weekend to gross an estimated $1.2 million, per Deadline.

“I saw a lot of other kids in my community that assimilated more to whiteness, you know, and I saw that in the assimilation of whiteness, there was like a false freedom that you get,” Huang shared with Hunter, who asked him how he gravitated towards Hip Hop.

“But, but part of that assimilation is that you have to leave your old self. You got to leave your ancestors and a lot of your values and customs and full on identity behind to ascend to whiteness. And then when you ascend to that whiteness, you are really just a lapdog. You know, you’re not a real full participant. You get to be in the building, but you have to remain quiet. And for me, I was always picked on.”

Huang described how he bounced around the school system, landing in at least five different schools. He then spoke about some of the similarities he witnessed between the way Black parents raised their children and the way his parents raised him.

Whatever his struggles, parents would not allow him to abandon his cultural integrity and traditions.

“I definitely don’t relate to white culture — whiteness. I don’t see that many Asians [in my community]. And I just started to turn towards Black culture for answers and for solidarity and to feel less alone and alien because a lot of the other kids that Chinese schooled — their parents just relented. And they started to be like, ‘Alright, the kid wants to eat McDonald’s — just let him eat McDonald’s. My dad was very tough and was like, ‘We are not raising you that way. You’re going to know everything about our culture. And then you’re going to go out in the world and you’re gonna represent us the right way.'”

Watch the interview below.

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