Native Son

To understand Bruce Lee's significance to Hong Kong, you have to understand how it once felt to be Hong Kong Chinese. At the start of the 1970s, the city was still a place of overt racial, cultural and economic inequality. The administration comprised white civil servants and a cadre of obsequious locals. In wood-paneled messes, old retainers were still called "boy." Almost all artistic production of note—from the cover versions on the radio to the overdubbed programs on TV to the copied clothes in the shop windows—was Western. And the spectacular growth of the economy—heralded by a burgeoning concrete skyline—masked the...

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