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The Yellow Panther: The Life of Richard Aoki

Documentary, Short 23m 2021

A revolutionary for the Asian American movement, Richard Aoki (1938-2009) was the most prominent non-Black member of the Black Panther Party. Aoki established Afro-Asian solidarity during the 1960s and ‘70s. Leading the Third World Liberation Front, Aoki pioneered Ethnic Studies around the country and united Third World struggles in America. However, according to Author Seth Rosenfeld, Richard Aoki also worked as an FBI informant. Aoki’s life was “complex”, as he would put it.

This documentary will act as a case study on Richard Aoki’s experience with the FBI and his contributions to his community— the positive and the negative. Exploring the life of Richard Aoki, we will witness a wide spectrum of the human experience, from being interned in a Japanese internment camp during World War II to becoming a leader during the Civil Rights Movement. His life story illustrates the constant interaction between the political and the personal.


Orion Huang


Orion Huang


Orion Huang


Orion Huang


Orion Huang

Assistant Camera

Bruno Solis

Assistant Camera

Tylor Vi

Sound Recording

Brandon Finney

Faculty Advisor

Jeff Swimmer

Faculty Advisor

Sally Rubin


Jason Lee

Sound Mix & Design

Josh Banach