Are There Black People Living In China

Many Chinese people presume that foreigners from the United States or Europe are white or Caucasian because of this stereotype. Not only do employers, Chinese residents, and maybe even journalists like us fail to recognize the contributions of other expats from Africa (some of whom are from the Americas and Europe), West Asia, Arabian nations, etc. Particularly in China, black people are treated significantly differently from their white and Caucasian counterparts. The interactions between Chinese and black people are weighed down by preconceived notions, anxiety, and curiosity. The fact that one is not white makes little difference in terms of the prevalence of unfavorable stereotypes and attitudes against people of all non-white backgrounds, whether they are from Africa or the Americas. 

Hmm...what should I do? 

Although black individuals in China confront significant levels of racism and discrimination, their experiences may shift depending on how they present themselves to the public, potential employers, and customers. Many people's views on them change completely if they're given the opportunity to shine. A lot of people have stopped stereotyping them as they formerly did. The most important thing is to present yourself as you would in any other situation: confidently, cheerfully, and politely. It's funny (or sad, I guess) how people can be prejudiced just by the color of their skin. 

Are you curious or critical? 

Who or what is the source of these preconceived notions? Is their thinking similarly muddled by Western media? Is it truly all bad news for the Chinese people? Or may curiosity explain part of the behavior? Still, it would be a mistake to assume that China is unique in harboring such pessimism and blatant bigotry (though, admittedly, it may be more blatant in China). A black man and a black woman were going through a Shanghai supermarket once, greeting shoppers with smiles and waves and laughing and staring at the youngsters who stared at them out of curiosity or dread. There were a few Chinese folks who looked down their noses at them. One woman, in particular, swerved her cart and her kid out of the way, giving off an air of extreme fright. The couples were clearly surprised by the response they didn't expect, but they kept their cheery attitudes and went on as if nothing had happened. 

We also saw three black males who were laughing as they tried to haggle with the market clerks at a small market outside of Shanghai. Initially, there were just a few Chinese people gathered; but, after a few minutes, there were roughly six individuals there. In that short amount of time, a mob of at least ten or fifteen individuals had surrounded the three guys. The guys, used to this kind of thing by now, just smiled at the spectators and kept talking to the clerk. They felt hands reaching out of the throng and stroking their faces and hair. The atmosphere at the store made one of the black guys uneasy, and he eventually departed. He told his pals, "They came into my personal space," when they questioned him afterwards why he departed. 

The earlier Chinese contact and behavior (exaggeratedly pulling the cart away) might be seen as negative, whereas the latter is undoubtedly motivated by genuine interest. The unease, though, is still present. Discomfort is present, albeit its intensity varies from person to person. 

What a sweet place, Chocolate Town! 

Many individuals of African descent live in China. About 100,000 Africans make Guangzhou their permanent residence. There is a largely black neighborhood known as "Chocolate City" among those who live there. Time will teach the Chinese that not all black people are drug dealers, and that black skin and hair are a biologically distinct traits. They'll also discover that not every person of European ancestry is fluent in English or has a lot of money. Until then, it's important for everyone to just be themselves and keep in mind that we're just visitors in their country. By smiling and talking to the locals, we're slowly helping to break down prejudice and build bridges between different cultures. 

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