Loading Events

In the 1970’s Bruce Lee captivated African American audiences with his stylish and philosophical kung fu movies. Lee was a rarity—a non-white leading man fighting oppression, crime, and racism at a time when there were still signs that read: “No dogs or Chinese Allowed” and “Whites Only.” Through the physical, mental, and spiritual embodiment of martial arts, Lee modeled an intense pride in his own cultural heritage that was an inspiration to all people of color—especially young African American men. In a special gathering to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Lee’s passing, Emmy Award-winning comedian and author W. Kamau Bell, Bruce Lee biographer and cultural critic Jeff Chang, Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee, along with moderator and cultural anthropologist Sharon Ann Lee will explore Bruce Lee’s long-lasting legacy and how he became an unexpected icon for Afro-Asian unity.

W. Kamau Bell

W. Kamau Bell is a sociopolitical comedian who is the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award winning CNN docu-series United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. He is the author of the book The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6′ 4″, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian. Later this year, Kamau makes his Netflix debut with his new stand-up comedy special, Private School Negro. Kamau is on the advisory board of Hollaback! and is the ACLU Celebrity Ambassador for Racial Justice. The New York Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.” His writing has been featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Reporter, CNN.com, Salon, The LA Review of Books, and more. Hear him speaking about Bruce Lee on this edition of the Bruce Lee Podcast.


Jeff Chang

Jeff Chang has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music. His books include Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, winner of the American Book Award, Who We Be: The Colorization of America, a finalist for the NAACP Image Award, and We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation, Northern California Nonfiction Book Of The Year, and declared “the smartest book of the year” by the Washington Post. His next project is a biography of Bruce Lee. Chang has also written for The Guardian, Slate, The Nation, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Believer, Foreign Policy, N+1, Mother Jones, Salon, and Buzzfeed, among many others.

Born and raised in Honolulu, he is a graduate of ‘Iolani School, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of California at Los Angeles. He serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.


Shannon Lee

Shannon Lee is the daughter of Bruce Lee and sister of Brandon Lee. Born in Los Angeles, she lived both in Los Angeles and Hong Kong in her early years, before attending Tulane University where she earned a B.F.A. in vocal performance. Lee returned to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Her credits include Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, WMAC Masters, High Voltage, Martial Law, Blade and Enter the Eagles. Shannon also co-wrote and sang on the album, The Mechanical Forces of Love with Medicine and has sung in concerts in Hong Kong, China and the US with renowned Cantonese singer Sam Hui. She is the CEO of the Bruce Lee Family Companies and Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Bruce Lee Foundation.


Sharon Ann Lee

Sharon Ann Lee is a culture and trends analyst, writer and entrepreneur who has been at the forefront of global trends and youth culture for over 15 years.  Sharon studies the big ideas that shape our changing tastes, opinions and values. Sharon is the founder of CultureBrain, a culture think tank and creative studio. She is also the co-host of the Bruce Lee Podcast, a podcast about the life and philosophies of Bruce Lee. Her work has been featured on PBS, MTV, New York Times, Los Angeles TimesTime and CNN.  Her work can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @CultureBrain.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

Main Image: Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hong Kong, 1972. © 1972 Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


Top of Page