Shanna Collins


Shanna Collins

Despite the social framing of African and Asian Diasporas as two separate phenomena, both are intricately connected throughout the cultural, political and economic histories in the Americas and Europe. In North America, Asian communities are racially categorized as exotic, meek, and the “model minority,” while Blackness deemed criminal, dangerous, and aggressive, both situated as diametrical “opposites.” In the Caribbean islands of Guyana, Trinidad, Cuba, Jamaica, and in the Latin American nations of Panama, Mexico, Brazil, and Costa Rica, Asian identity and politics are situated in somewhat radically different contexts to African identity and ancestry, due to enslavement, indentured labor, and proximity. While white supremacy aims to drive a racial wedge between the two communities in America (and somewhat in other places in the Western Hemisphere), a closer look through careful research illuminates shared struggles against political terrorism, government repression, and surveillance. Key friendships such as the bond between Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama, as well as the marriage between Grace Lee Boggs and James Boggs,  demonstrates the radical Afro-Asian solidarity of the past, while cultural collectives such as NYC-based BUFU (By Us For Us) builds on the futurity of Black-Asian collaboration. The following resources listed are by no means exhaustive, but a primer in creating a more in-depth understanding between what appears to be two radically different communities.


Mountains that Take Wing: Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama (Full Documentary)

Music, Afro Asian Politics and Culture, "Jazz" and a Vision for Revolution: An Evening with Fred Ho


Afro-Asian Encounters: Culture, History, and Politics  

Sixty Years of Asian-African Solidarity

Black Panthers, Red Guards, and Chinamen: Constructing Asian American Identity through Performing Blackness, 1969-1972

Chinese Freedom Fighters in Cuba: From Bondage to Liberation, 1847-1998

Chutney, Metissage, and Other Mixed Metaphors: Reading Indo Caribbean Art in Afro Caribbean Contexts

Afro-Asian and Afro-Indigenous Linguistic Contacts in Spanish America

Not Just a “Special Issue”: Gender, Sexuality, and Post-1965 Afro Asian Coalition Building in the Yardbird Reader and This Bridge Called My Back

Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X

Kickin’ The White Man’s Ass: Black Power, Aesthetics, and the Asian Martial Arts


Resounding Afro Asia: Interracial Music and the Politics of Collaboration

From Resistance to Rebellion: Asian and Afro-Caribbean Struggles in Britain

Africa in the Indian Imagination: Race and the Politics of Postcolonial Citation

Afro-Asia: Revolutionary Political and Cultural Connections between African-Americans and Asian-Americans

The African Diaspora in Trade Routes and Cultural Memories

Transpacific Antiracism: Afro-Asian Solidarity in 20th Century Black America

The East is Black: Cold War in China and Black Radical Imagination


The BUFU Collective Explores the Power of Black and Asian Unity

Connecting the Disconnected: when South Asians accuse East Africans of Cultural Appropriation

Black and Asian Struggles in Britain: 1960s-1980s

20th Century History of Asian and Black Culture in the UK