Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) Warner Bros Reveals Details on Its 10 DC Comics Film Adaptations. Will Include a Cyborg Movie Starring Ray Fisher Warner Bros Reveals Details on Its 10 DC Comics Film Adaptations. Will Include a Cyborg Movie Starring Ray Fisher T.I. Teases His 'Ant-Man' Role - "I Play a Superhero's Homeboy" T.I. Teases His 'Ant-Man' Role - "I Play a Superhero's Homeboy" Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Steve McQueen Goes With Newcomer Devon Terrell to Play the Lead in His HBO Project Steve McQueen Goes With Newcomer Devon Terrell to Play the Lead in His HBO Project A Prequel To 'Gone With The Wind' Which Tells Mammy's Story Solely, Hits Bookstores Tomorrow (Movie Next?) A Prequel To 'Gone With The Wind' Which Tells Mammy's Story Solely, Hits Bookstores Tomorrow (Movie Next?) Sean Penn Puts Post-Earthquake Haiti In Focus In New Feature Doc 'Haiti Untold' - Now Streaming on Netflix Sean Penn Puts Post-Earthquake Haiti In Focus In New Feature Doc 'Haiti Untold' - Now Streaming on Netflix In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People Rosario Dawson's 'Daredevil' Character Revealed + Vondie Curtis-Hall Joins Cast Rosario Dawson's 'Daredevil' Character Revealed + Vondie Curtis-Hall Joins Cast TV One Airs First-Ever Original, Scripted Work of Horror - Trilogy Titled 'The Fright Night Files' TV One Airs First-Ever Original, Scripted Work of Horror - Trilogy Titled 'The Fright Night Files' 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Michael Jai White On The Passing Of Jim Kelly

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act June 30, 2013 at 4:24PM

People around the world are still coming to grips with the shocking news today of the all-too-soon passing of martial arts film star and legend Jim Kelly.
5
Jim Kelly

People around the world are still coming to grips with the shocking news today of the all-too-soon passing of martial arts film star and legend Jim Kelly.

As I said in my previous post, when I was informed of the news this morning, I absolutely did not believe it at first. Maybe there is some other Jim Kelly who died, I thought; but not THE Jim Kelly. A true pioneer and inspiration to so many people with a genuinely magnetic presence on the screen.

It's even more tragic when you consider that this coming August marks, believe it or not, the 40th anniversary of the first U.S. release of the martial arts classic, Enter the Dragon, with the magnificent Bruce Lee (who died just a month before the film's release) and Kelly.

But among those stunned by the news was actor and martial artist Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite), who, of course, throughout his career, was compared to Kelly.

And that is why I thought White's words upon hearing about the passing of Kelly today were uniquely poignant:

“My world stopped this morning when I learned of the passing of Jim Kelly. He was a pioneer, our first black representation of what a black martial artist is to this world. His look, swagger, martial arts prowess has been an inspiration myself as well as countless others. In Black Dynamite I copied his monochromatic fashion since, his afro, as well has his patented kiai (yell) SUUUEEYY! I am inspired to continue honoring him as I forge forward in this industry.

I've met the man upon occasion and have empathized with his wounds that were afflicted by Hollywood. We first met at Good Earth Restaurant in "97" when I went over to his table an introduced myself as Mike.

He didn't know who I was but he shared his views on the industry and was deeply troubled with how blacks were being treated in Hollywood. In the 70's Black Alpha Males were embraced in movies as logical leads and representations of who we were and currently our media blueprint was that of a buffoonish nature.

We exchanged information and I'd contact him from time to time. I was Mike, the guy from Good Earth and I worried he might feel betrayed when he learned of how much more our paths were similar and that I was, in many ways, seen as "The New Him."

I tried to get him to do cameos in films but the "Hollywounds" were too deep. For now I will train just a little bit harder and focus a little deeper. I, as well as my generation was inspired by Jim Kelly and I have to accept that I may inspire the next. I am saddened that this hero was defeated, by himself or the system and I resolve not to do the same. I accept this baton on behalf of you Master Kelly and Mike from Good Earth's gonna fight on with the swagger and pride he borrows from you!”

This article is related to: Michael Jai White, Jim Kelly, RIP


Shadow & ActNewsletter