Dr. Crystal Kwok: Examining the Complexity of African American and Chinese Relations

This month “The Empowerment Zone” is celebrating Asian American Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AANHPI) by featuring Dr. Crystal Kwok and her documentary film “Blurring the Color Line: Chinese in the Segregated South.” Join the conversation as Ramona talks to Dr. Kwok about her film, which examines the complex historical relationship between the African American and Asian American communities. We are proud to announce that the film will premiere on the World Channel on PBS streaming platforms this month on May 25. Dr. Kwok’s documentary has already won multiple awards including the Mira Nair Rising Female Filmmaker Award at the Harlem International Film Festival and the Courage Award at the DisOrient Film Festival.

Dr. Kwok is a transnational award-winning filmmaker who established her career in Hong Kong as an actress, writer, director, and talk show host. Originally from San Francisco, California, Dr. Kwok now lives in Hawaii.


Highlights from our conversation:

  • Dr. Kwok’s dissertation defense
  • Dr. Kwok’s acting career and her professional trajectory to becoming a filmmaker
  • Working with Jackie Chan
  • Challenges women face in the entertainment and movie industries
  • How and why Dr. Kwok created her own platforms
  • How Dr. Kwok’s film evolved from researching the history of women in her family to exploring Chinese and African American relations
  • Complexity of race relations in the American South
  • Exploring how Chinese Americans embrace and engage in anti-blackness
  • Binary spaces
  • How Dr. Kwok seeks to inspire social impact through her film
  • Strategies for college success
  • Redefining education

Dr. Crystal Kwok

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