Being Black in China

Dear Jean,

I am an African American man who is very interested in teaching in China later this year. I have recently completed a bachelor’s degree at the University of Indiana and I am planning on enrolling myself in a TESOL course this winter.

While I was initially excited about the prospect of teaching in China, I am now not so sure. A classmate of mine (also black) has recently come back from a 5 month stint in China as a student. He tells me that in his experience, Chinese people look down on black people. He thinks that the school did not treat him as well as other foreigners who looked more ‘white.’

I am curious to hear your opinion on this issue. Is China a good place for a black person to teach English? Will I be able to find a job?

Thank you in advance,


Jean answers Daniel’s question

Dear Daniel,

Thank you for a very interesting and important question. I am very sorry that your friend came back from China with the impression that he was not treated as well as other foreigners. In my experience, Chinese people are always friendly to foreigners, no matter where they come from.

With that said, there is no question that Chinese people have a ‘fascination’ with the West. For too many here, the West is represented exclusively by Caucasian people although hopefully that perception is changing now that Obama has won the U.S. presidency. Often, schools and training centers in China prefer to hire white people because they think that this will make parents feel like their children are learning ‘proper’ English.

You may face some extra challenges in China, but I think that you should come all the same. As a native speaker of English, you will have an advantage over other black people who speak English as a second language. Having a degree will definitely help you as well.  If you fulfill your obligations to the school, I don’t think that you will have any problems in China. I do think that China is a good place for you to come and teach.

I wish I could answer this question more fully but let me recommend a few articles on our website which may be of help to you. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that is written in these articles but they are quite informative.
What Does China Think of Barack Obama?
Is China Ready for Barack Obama?
Can Non-Native Speakers of English Teach in China?
Should Foreign Teachers in China Appear in School Advertisements?

Hope that helps you! Let us know how it goes.



Ask Jean about China is a weekly feature on We welcome any questions related to living and working in China. Feel free to submit your questions by clicking here. We look forward to hearing from you.

128 Responses to Being Black in China

  1. Jamasian says:

    Join us on FB. Brothas&Sistas of China. We wouldn’t be here if it was all or even mostly bad. lol


  2. Shawn says:

    I’m African-American and taught English in Japan for seven years. It was the best experience in my life. I call Japan my second home and I love Japanese people. I came back to America to see Obama and notice nothing has changed in race relations. White America has known blacks for hundreds of years and still have the in ability to see beyond skin color. I personally give up on them as mentally ill and irreparable. I’m sure Chinese act racist but I classify it has cultural ignorance. The White mans ideology and propaganda they instilled in them of course with negative media and gangster movies is the reason for there behavior. Chinese people need to understand that most blacks are loving people of all nationalities, we never invaded China but the Europeans did. They murdered thousands of Chinese and got them addicted to Opium drugs while destroying and looting China. Chinese people should not lash out on blacks because of the misery the White man caused you. Deal with blacks and find out most of us are generous loving people. I will be going to Hong Kong and China in March, I want to spread peace and love to Chinese people. You can make friends and family with black people and we will love you as our own people of course. To me Chinese people are just another extention of the African race, and we are here to reclaim you back to your African roots.


    sharon Reply:

    I wish you the very best. The world needs more love. Are there any schools that I can apply too. I have a bachelors degree in sociology


  3. A chinese man says:

    Hi Bro,

    My best advice to you is, just come here and feel it yourself. Everything else will be clear by then. However if what you want is a non-complicated answer, YES “most” Chinese “ARE” racist towards black and brown.


  4. Robert Black says:

    In 2001 in Shenyang, and 2004 in Beijing, I hung out with some Africans and African American guys, and girls, who were employed like me, as foreign English teachers.

    Yes, Chinese do have an ingrained resentment or racism against all “foreign devils”, which is worse towards people with darker skin, or people with non-standard English accents, such as Filipinos (to the point of not employing them, or paying them lower wages) but that is just part of the Chinese experience. ABC’s probably are the lowest of the lot, and treated the worst, as they are seen as traitors to the Chinese race.

    So it would be wrong to say this racism or resentment is only against black people, as it is pretty against all foreigners, or waiguoren.

    Most of the black people I met, rose above this and had a ball in China.

    One guy was reading the sports news for CCTV9 (with no previous experience, just a great enthusiasm for sport and NBA basketball).

    I wrote a lot about these experiences in my novel, The Fake Celebrity in China.

    The Chinese are incredibly racist or anti-foreigner sure, but that doesn’t mean you cannot rise above it and have a great time in China.


    Matt Reply:

    Wow, I have to say I completely disagree with your post. While there is certainly racism in China, as there is in any country, they are not “incredibly racist or anti-foreigner” at all. I simply don’t understand how you could have spent time in China and leave with that impression.

    I spent a year in China and nearly everybody I met was extremely friendly and interested in me. Everybody wanted to talk and be my friend. While I am sure racism is there, never once did I actively notice it during my time in China. The Chinese were extremely friendly and fascinated by foreigners and did not come off as anti-foreigner at all. It’s the opposite if anything.


  5. Paul says:

    Their is a on going movement to not renew black teachers visa throughout china. Dongying is one place that they are not renewing work visa for black teachers. The thinking in China is that whites are superior. Now most of the black teachers here in China are from Africa not american teachers. If you go to craigs list you will see ads for teachers and some of these agencys will openly state white teachers only. They even think whites are superior to yellow people. You have to understand they are new at dealing with people and the average Chinese will welcome you. What the business want is a white face to show they have made it. You should not let that stop you from applying for a job here in China. I am Puerto Rican so they still have not figuered out what the hell I am. I have not had any problems. You have the same idiots in the states as you have here when it comes to racism so be above all that bullshit and go for it.


  6. Sean says:

    Simple Chinese logic

    Most drug traffic-ing problems in China originates from Africa and;
    African people are black. Therefore
    If you are black you are a drug dealer.

    Just before the Beijing Olympics, every African national had their Visas revoked and were sent home (black,white or yellow). Many of the African people (especially Nigerian) are arrested every year for a variety of offences.

    Black people are profiled here in much the same way as Muslims are in the US.


    Lickky Reply:

    I think you people don’t really know what you are saying. I have been living in China for 3yrs now and I can say that Chinese don’t treat BLACK’S well.

    Am a student and also a black lady from Africa, Chinese hate to hear the name AFRICA or AFRICA AMERICAN; as long as you are BLACK they will treat you BAD.

    It’s very hard for a black person to find a job in china too; they really look down on BLACK’S. China isn’t a good country for BLACK’S, everything about them is FAKE! They pretend to LIKE you but it’s all FAKE. Don’t trust Chinese.


    michael Reply:

    Have to agree with ya just look at this link above. TBH if the teachers is recognized by the Chinese SAFEA requirements skin colour/color or nationality shouldn’t be an issue.

    If your qualified come from an native speaking country then it shouldn’t matter.

    Korea and Japan are regarded by many as being quite racist however the visa requirements are fair and do not discriminate.


    FormerlyFromTokyo Reply:

    Given that I have lived and worked in Japan over four years, I’d like to somewhat dispute your claim about racism in that country. As a young African-American woman, I have never found any barriers to employment based on my race (which was something I was afraid of before I got my first job there). However, there is that same image of American = Caucasian, and everywhere you go, you see Caucasians representing the international beauty ideal.

  7. Vincent says:

    Out of curiousity, I will ask this question: If Chinese people charactorize black people by the color of thier skin, how do they treat, for example, a light skinned mixed black man with green eyes, and thin nose, etc? Do they treat him slightly better because he is lighter?
    I think color prejudice is ignorance regardless or the sterotypes.


    Rae Reply:

    Vincent, I have lived in China for almost 2 years and race has never been a problem for me or my son. In fact most Chinese people love my son because he is polite and tries to speak the language. You really cannot go by what other people say about China you have to judge for yourself.


    loud Reply:

    In all of the world if you are light skin or dark skinned no matter if you have freckles or red or brown hair your still looked at and judged as if you are black. Tho some people feel more comfortable around lighter blacks because they look more clean cut usually , black is still black. Barack Obama is half white but still all his life he been treated as if he was black, just like all other black people raised by white mothers, ex. J.Cole, My Best Friend Damian etc etc


    FormerlyFromTokyo Reply:

    “…some people feel more comfortable around lighter blacks because they look more clean cut usually…”

    What? How does a person’s skin tone determine whether they look “clean cut” or not. Perhaps you should say what you really mean: “closer to the preferred Eurocentric ideal”. As a medium-toned black woman, I’ve had so many positive compliments on my appearance, my fashion, my overall bearing and the way the Japanese language sounds coming out of my mouth that I can’t even count the times – all of this without me being a “light-skinned” black. I’m embarrassed by your ignorance.


  8. Ming says:

    Hi everyone,

    I am chinese. I don’t see any reason on blaming the Chinese not accept black people or African descendent.

    The “Western Culture” or should the media that using English, American movie, CNN, BBC and other news network have made the Chinese to view the African as negative figure. Nigga in the ghetto in American film, aids campaign for the Africa, pirate in Somalia. most of the time they dint show how a normal black guy live. Blame the western media for showing the black people as trouble maker.

    stereotype happen everywhere.
    Do you dare to say it loud there is no discrimination to the Chinese folks in your home country?

    From the history, “western power” invaded the Asia for the resources.

    For the white folks. you should be glad the Chinese doesn’t see u as looter.

    For the black folks, just be a good guy and earn the respect.

    Speaking English and born in “first world country” doesn’t make you superior and get you everything you want as you wish.

    Learn to earn the respect from the Chinese folks since you are trying to get a job in china. You cant just show up and expect everything to be ready for you.
    Don’t expect people to welcome you like a superstar. Chinese doesn’t get that treatment when they are in overseas. so you don’t deserve that too. live with it.

    Pardon me for not write in perfect English.

    PS: Yes, we are proud with the 5000years of civilization history & culture.Nothing wrong with that.You have your rule we have ours. Learn how to obey and respect it like we do in your home country.


    Sean Reply:

    5000 years of culture….hehehe…sorry every time I hear that I have to snigger. I’ve been in China for almost 4 years and am still trying to find this amazing culture that’s 5000 years old. Perhaps they have it cleverly stashed away from prying Laowai eyes who are secretly trying to steal it.


    marc Reply:

    Good luck looking! Unless spitting, defecating in public, driving on pavements, etc is culture you’re going to struggle。


    michael Reply:

    ming two wrongs don’t make a right . don’t blame western movies for your obvious ignorance.

    if the japanese, vietnamese,koreans can set up a fair legal visa system does that mean the chinese are backward???

    If you were born in a native speaking country, have a native english speaking qualifications from primary secondary and third level then your skin colour/color should not be an issue.


    FormerlyFromTokyo Reply:

    Very valid points!


    Amos Lukyaa Reply:

    Reading between the lines ‘am inclined 2say that deep down in your heart you are unquestionably a racist and arrogant fella. See! A lot of Chinese are doing petty business in Africa which the Chinese Govt would’t have allowed Africans to do the same in China, don’t think our generocity should be intepreted as weak or being stupid!

    We treat every human being as equal, Africans are not hypocrite like some of you people U in particular; I am afriad 2say that your mind set is highly skewed I hope you won’t pass this trait 2 your progens.


  9. Al says:

    I am a white English teacher in China. I have been working here for 6 months. And my brother and his girlfriend have decided to fly out and give the ol’ teaching english game a try.

    My brother’s girlfriend is black. And so the story begins….
    I first enquired with my own school who has asked us the previous week to recruit some friends or family and be rewarded with a bonus because they ‘were in desperate need.’ – I send my brother and his girlfriends details to the head master (principle) and was met with a response by a sheepish deputy head, ‘sorry we’re not interested.’
    Some response I got from emailed enquiries, “Hello Al, It seems your brother is qualified but his girlfriend is not.” Or “Nice to hear from you, but where is your brothers girlfriend from? I don’t think she come from English-speaking countries (I had included a copy of her British passport, but ‘no, this could not be possible’).
    And more recently I was got this reply, “We would like to interview your brother but we are sorry to say that we are only looking for male teachers at this moment.” – Anyone who is a teacher in China knows that female teachers are more in demand than male teachers.

    From what I have learned during this experience is that Chinese people believe that America and Britain only consist of white people. People that run English school believe this too! It’s nuts! Parents are another issue, they pay so much money for their child’s education that they feel they are being cheated by the school if any of their staff are black, not even black but dark skinned. They get pissed as hell at the schools and will try and have said black (or dark skinned) person removed from teaching. They just can’t get it through their “5,000 years of culture” that you don’t have to be white for English to be your mothers tongue.
    While I asked my students about this and yes they said they didn’t mind if their teacher is black, most of them actually do. – Media in China shapes everyone’s perception of everything. Most Chinese people I’ve met think black people can be cool in a ‘hip-hop’ sense, but even so they are not to be trusted and that they have low intelligence. Yes this goes beyond naivety, this is downright RACIST.
    Not to be trusted!? Show me a Chinese man who won’t fuck over their best friend for a promotion or cheat on his wife. China, you want to be developed and modern, then your going to have to change more than your industries. Grow up.


    asia Reply:


    I would like to refer you to the following blog. You can also ask the lady who owns this blog any questions…I do not know her personally, but she may be able to help you. I have known of Blacks successfully teaching in China. One gentleman I know of taught at the University level for three years. I have come across a number of blogs by African Americans teaching in China, so people are out there, and some who are studying in China.

    What a sad, sad, sad, sorry state of affairs that so many people in China know nothing about Black culture, or about the contributions of people who are of African descent to Western culture. I still maintain, that Chinese Universities need to teach young people about Black people, history, culture, languages, the diaspora. China is investing in Africa, and many Chinese are settling in Africa, and to a lesser extent intermarrying with Black people, so I would think that the attitudes you are encountering are lessening. I do believe that with time, exposure to new ideals, education, travel, many people in China will begin to have more relaxed attitudes toward race. People like you, and many Black people who are in China, involved in teaching, studying, learning about the culture, are the forerunners who can help make a difference. I have hope for China as a nation, and it is fascinating to see a country go from a lack of modernization, to being modernized. Attitudes take a little longer to change, but with time I think the prevailing attitudes toward race will begin to change for the better in China.


  10. Ben says:

    I am a blackman from Africa who is currently in China and to be precise Shenzhen. I always say that China as a country is developing very fast but chinese are still holding on to their childish mind,ignorance,uncivilised nature. Chinese are not friendly to black people. They treat us as non human but this doesn’t bother me because I see it as BIG IGNORANCE on the part of those chinese. Many chinese are now travelling to other countries but they are still coiled in their ignorance shell. They still stick themselves to ‘tradition and customs”. I am not saying chinese should bury their traditon and custom but what I am trying to air out is we human beings grow,the world we live in also grows so as the we and the world grow,we should be able to modify our old tradition and customs to suit our growing world. This is what chinese are lacking. I was very sad when I read about what some chinese have written about Lou Jing( the black chinese girl in Shanghai). Everybody is somebody no matter the person’s race so respect everybody no matter what. I have been here and I have noticed how chinese behave in public-vomiting on buses,on the street,shouting, just to mentiom few.


  11. […] uncomfortable moments of racism? There are plenty of blogs and comments posted on sites such as,, and, from people with mixed opinions about […]

  12. Zhu Bing says:

    In reading the comments of the Blacks on this website I think any Chinese schools that hire them will have trouble, the “Negroes” cause trouble wherever they go;the don’t have a culture, unlike Europe and China which have ancient cultures. In general you would be better to hire causcasian people or indeed Asian-Americans who will have a more professional attitude that the Negroes who are more interesting in jungle music and a quick way to make a buck and try out the young Chinese girls. Personally I would never have those Blacks around the place. Besides do you want our Chinese children to be speaking in “ebonics”? – I think not.


    who you Reply:

    Your dumb, most of the white dudes are taking your women fool. So what does that say about you and your male counterparts “you are not wanted”,White or black we provide a better living than you and we have a better education than you FREE at that. Your ignorance will hinder you as it already has I’m sure. The world is already moving past you.By the way I have two daughter 1/2 Chinese both with masters degrees who teach english and math in China, it’s a waiting list for there classes…get a fuckin life IDIOT!!!!!! Stop talking you make dumb people look smart..


    lol Reply:

    am sure zhu bing or what ever your name is! you did not write that in english, you had to use google translation, and you dont have a passport so you only know of china.did you see what happen to japan!
    i dont fancy china, i dont hate but i hate every chinese who claim to be a graduate without english. what is the piont FOOLS , DUMPS.cant you see how overpopulated you are with your flat asses women CHINA MY ASS


    lol Reply:



    Ben Reply:

    You’re obviously not getting the point here. Honestly, I think children are more harmed by a small minded person, such as yourself, more so than any Black person who knows how to conduct themselves properly. I’d like to say I don’t know where you get this idea that all black people don’t speak properly or use “ebonics”, but I do know where you get this idea from. I would think that you’d be smart enough not to generalize a whole race because of what you have seen in media, or in your apparent limited experience with Black people. Please, when you have met every black person in the world, let me know! Then you can say whatever you want about Black people. Though technically you could do that now, just without any justification for anything you say.


    Mark Reply:

    Zhu Bing

    I’m African American listen we have black teachers teaching white,hispanic,Arabic Chinese and others and we are good at it. What needs to happen is you need to educate yourself about Black peaple before you draw your conclusion based upon the media they have you thinking that you are inferior and that the white woman is more superior than your own your own. You are never going to know us, you must read more and reseach us talk with us more perhaps you might google Black Inventors you will be surprised and let’s be perfectly real I am sure that every black person you have talked to didn’t use slang excuse me (ebonics)because I’m not.


    Amos Lukyaa Reply:

    Are These comment coming from a Chinese lady? I don’t think so, Chinese males are the one who makes such unfortunate remarks towards blacks, all they think is that blacks are good 4nothing we think about sex all the time which’s insn’t true, Chines population is a 1/4 of world’s population – what does that tell you about their sexual behaviour, mark you ‘am not intending to insult anyone they should learn to repect other races especially those they don’t really know well, watching biased Hollywood movies whose scripts are written by equally racist Morons won’t tell you who/what Africans are really ARE. I have had a Chinese girlfriend who came to Africa as ana engineer in a construction Company, she was so cool – but she faced a hard time from fellow Chinese males but she was so strong she stuck to her guns ignoring ’em.

    The funny thing you find these same Chinese males in company of African ladies, no African male ever bothers what the Chinese males and African female do behind the sheets! As Mark has said Black people are equally capable like all other races, read what African American contributed in Science/Technology over the years e.g you won’t have traffic lights without them, rolling stock/locomotive couplers just to mention a few.


    onipa Reply:

    never seen such ignorance, you make the so called cultureless africans seem super intelligent, i prefer to be cultureless thus by you.
    get over your insecurity, learn to treat your women better.
    you looking at your image in the mirror and wished it had been black, wake up, its a reflection of you and you cant wish it away, work to improve it


    Shawn Reply:

    That was tight lol.


  13. Rukiya says:

    My husband and I are moving to the U.S. Virgin Islands in a few days. We have both traveled to SE Asia and other places as well…we are thinking about possibly settling in Asia. We have two children who are on this journey with us. And yes, we are Black Americans.

    Check out our blog:




    who you Reply:

    Most Asians understand Black Americans from Black Africans in saying that,For me all of SE Asia is cool best I can do for you is say LOCATION,LOCATION,LOCATION We live half the year in China the other in the States I have a cousen who has been in Singapore for 15 years and a bounch of buddies who live in Thailand and my Dad lived in the Philippens for 17 years..I am from SOUTHPARK HOUSTON,TEXAS-my wife is from China


    e-mail address is not real


  14. clef says:

    what da fuck is happening here. Whats all about being a black american and not an african. I’m from american and black as well but I guess we all are from fucking africa. How did you get to america at the first place. I prefer answering a fucking black dude than denying my fore-fathers land. You guys should just grow up and stop acting like one asshole. Our fore-fathers re from African.They were sold as slaves to the white fucking people. So tell me what re you?It dosen’t change anything even if you fucking native or from Africa. All I see here is just racism and shit in China thats all. I work here in China and hard for me to even say am from america cuz I love africa as hell and ma fore-fathers are from africa so I do not need to start preaching stuffs . I’m a professional educator in english language and I ‘m proud of that. I tell them, if you want to hire me because of the complexion shit then fuck off, but if you want me to prove ma worth then you welcome. I’m happy with ma job here and have lots of chinese friends even who dosen’t like white people. So its vice-versal..


    Dividia Reply:

    You sound very ignorant. I consider myself a Black American because I personally did not come from Africa. My ancestors were Native Americans and African slaves. However, I was born in America and reserve African-American to those today who actually migrate from Africa to America.

    I have visited African nations several times and each person that I interviewed for a documentary of my trip laughed at the term African-American in references to Black Americans. They often ask, “What does today Black American know of Africa?” To be honest, ninety percent of them have no clue of Africa. From my substitute teachings in urban districts and creating of after school programs, most Black American children have little exposure to the cultures of Africa. They have been absorbed by the American culture that they were born into. Their culture is a product of several centuries of slavery and decades of racially-motivated injustices, ending up to gangster rap, the drug trade, sports and the video vixen. They see education as “trying to be white” instead of a way to get out of their current situations.

    Africans and Chinese have been trading with each other long before Whites climbed out of their caves and learned to stop dumping their dead in their drinking water supply. It’s only since the ascension of Whites and their knack for world domination through their cockroach-like, pestilent behavior of spreading disease (mainly because they have done and endured every nasty thing possibly known to man), that more cultures are becoming more “white”. Some Asians are surgically getting their eyes widened. Some Indians are bleaching their skin. Some Africans are still battling for the respect of Whites and some just because their beliefs differ from their governments.

    I have worked in China for the past five years. As with anyone else in America, those who do not know me, I have to prove myself to them. You have to realize that for some the most exposure to Blacks that some races have had are through media. Our shows depict Blacks mostly as criminals. Just watching the local news alone, I can see why White women clutch their purses. But I’m out to prove them wrong. I am courteous; I speak proper English and slowly for them to understand; and I learn their culture, because you don’t want to offend a culture and show your ignorance.

    So for you, since you are a professional educator of the English language, how is it that your comment shows no mastery of the English language, especially grammar, no tact and and a plethora of cursing? Is this really what you profess, broken English?


    Kess Reply:

    I’m considered Afro-American (African[Tanzanian] father, mixed Asian[Korean]-Black mother) and have been working at a primary school in South China wherein I had to go through an education agency to find. I have about 9 years of teaching experience, speak Cantonese and a decent level of Mandarin. I mention this because since I’ve been here, I’ve felt that I’ve had to work three times as hard as my 3 Caucasian co-workers who have no teaching experience, no familiarity with Chinese or Asian culture, no knowledge of the Chinese language, and a grasp of the English language such that the thought of it being taught to a 9-year-old Chinese student is scary (One has a British-Australian accent so thick, sometimes neither the Canadian nor the American teacher can understand him) – simply because I am a couple shades darker.

    I agree wholeheartedly with most of Dividia’s thoughts: Since day one, I have found myself having to prove myself to everyone: my Chinese colleagues, my co-workers, my boss, the cold-staring parents of the Chinese students, and of course a good handful of the actual students. I teach age 9 to 12. When my recruiter told my students that I was from America and spoke fluent English, they didn’t believe her. When I told them my father was from an African country, they laughed at me. My first week at the school, I had to put up with the name-calling from the younger kids and the facetiousness of the older ones. Many of the students would comment to each other that because they didn’t find me “handsome” enough, that they had no reason to mind me and that I wasn’t “worth the attention,” so they’d continue to be disruptive, defiant and rude.

    I’ve looked at these past three months as a sort of initiation challenge wherein the ultimate goal was for me to gain respect. The first step for me was not to take these disheartening instances and others personally because for the most part, it’s just ignorance. The second one was to CONTINUE to respect everyone because if I were ever to make a backwards step in the way I carried myself – if anything about me where to come off as barbaric, ignorant, nonchalant, or negative – it would perpetuate stereotypes. Granted, I’ve had my slip-ups from frustration, but at the end of the day, I’ve learned to stay modest and keep cool.

    Nowadays, the Chinese teachers are comfortable around me and we enjoy each other’s company, and the students are at a point where they finally take me seriously. Of course, this was after three months of having to make examples out of students and “shocking” so many students with me speaking Chinese.


    Bailey Reply:

    Your message was really helpful! I’m a Black American and leave In August 2013 to teach English in China. Could you please share some of your techniques? Like how you disciplined the children and other teaching methods.

    obi1 Reply:

    I have been living and working in China for 2 and a half years. I understand where your coming from Kess in regards to defining yourself as Black American. I refer to myself as Black British African. My parents are Nigerian and immigrated to England many years ago. I see myself as British first however I can never deny my African roots because of parents. I understand African cultures and traditions and have been to Africa many times.

    The Chinese are unable to understand such concepts. I often get asked “where are you from.” I respond ” Manchester, Uk.” Only to be told no your “African, you are from Africa”. It used to make mad. But then I started to understand this is a country who’s mind set is about 40 years behind that of the western world. It will take a whole generation and more to progress this mind set further. I love my Chinese students, they are curious, fun and really embrace me as their teacher. These are the kids that will bring China’s mind set forward.

    My role as a teacher here and in England has been to educate as well as challenge and dispel the stereo types one may have of black people. My parents always told, people will see your colour first and throw all types of negativity upon you. So this just means you have to work harder show them you just as worthy.

    With so much Chinese activity in Africa it is inevitable that children of both African and Chinese heritage will happen as a result.

    Finally this talk of 5000 years of culture, that brilliant however there are many ancient cultures in our world. Most Chinese are closed off to finding out about other cultures and the biggest joke is that the family customs and view on family are very similar to that of African cultures. We actually have more in common than our white western culture.


    Amos Lukyaa Reply:

    Bravo Bro Clef,
    These are some of the things that makes one go mmh!! How can an African descendant think He/She’s superior having been born in the States or other first World Countries!

    It hurts me a lot when I come across some of my brothers and sister (in USA and continental Europe) who entertains that kind of skewed mind SET.

    I studied Engineering in Europe in a class of mixed races:Caucasian, Chines/Malaysian, Arabs etc we used to beat them in Science subjects and mathematics and earned some respect; I remember some caucasians being amazed by our masterly of thing they couldn’t comprehend how we managed to speak vernacular language, National language and English although our English was a bit rusty but we managed to obtain good degrees.

    All ‘am trying to drive at is: Some African American should try to visit Africa even once in their life time to know more about Africa and not to listen/watch CNN and FOX news whose hidden agenda is well known. I am afraid to mention that some of the negative attitude shown by some Chinese people towards Black people is the result of watching/reading/listening to biased American/European Media – the African American lady might have fallen to the same MEDIA over the years being bombared by the same crap of looking down on Africans day in day out.


  15. GOD says:

    I was fined a month’s pay by the Chinese govt, had my work visa renewal rejected in Hong Kong, and had several school administrators cancel interviews with me because of whatever prejudice garbage they were told by others — and I’m a young white American guy with an engineering degree, teaching certificates, and married to a Chinese lady!

    However, I didn’t write a long sappy blog blaming all my troubles on racism. I occasionally received grumpy faces from random people on the street, so what? My Chinese American co-worker got his college freshman student pregnant and the school didn’t say a thing about it because he looked Chinese, but I almost had my pay suspended for carrying my Chinese wife up a hill to our apartment on campus!

    Finally, I want to say this to all the African ESL teachers, DON’T WORRY SO MUCH about the white teachers, sometimes you think we’re out to get you, like the boogie man. In my daily conversations with teachers from the UK and Canada, we never once said anything bad about black teachers! We couldn’t spread rumors with our students even if we wanted to because of a huge language barrier and the fact that young CHinese students are rarely racist. I tried having lunch with African teachers and they were quick to argue with me, it was like everything I believed in was wrong even though I barely spoke a word to them. I also see many comments posted online by Africans cheering about the economic hard times in the US when in fact unemployment is much higher for black Americans than whites and the Pledge to End Poverty in Africa has been postponed because we have less money to give recently. So you’re cheering for your own suffering as well.


  16. James says:

    I also had Asians who spoke broken english question my english because of misconceptions but racism exists in every culture on every contient in one form or another. I’m sure that some Chinese have racism against another kind of Asian culture, such as Filipino, or maybe Koreans are preducided against Cambodians. Etc, etc, etc, the list goes on in ever culure in the world. There are lesser and greater degrees, some is internal, some is external. As long as it’s not going to cause you physical harm than its something that all of us must endure to some degree. Frankly, I find non-violent instances of racism as an opportunity to enlighten if by no other means but how I carry myself and treat other people. In most cases it’s just because naiveness, false information, lack of exposure, etc., that people are like this. You should take it as a challenge instead of a barrier. Once I was being discrimianted from joining a reservist unit that I wanted to join. It was obvious and later confessed by the unit commander that he didn’t want me there because of my race although there were other African Americans already there. I think he wanted to limit the number of minorities as much as he could. Well, I felt it and after being detered and delayed enough, one day I just decided to show up and assume that I had been accepted even though I had not been given the ok to show up. Once I did that and they saw how hard working and professional I was, I was given the red carpet treatment from that point on. Just treat other people with respect and rascism or no racism you will get respect in return. Take it as an opportunity instead of a barrier.


  17. James says:

    It’s essential that African Americans get into the international teaching arena because African Americans are a major driving force in the developement and evolution of english in America. I have had a chance to observe a few caucasian ESL teachers and informal english is always a part of the corriculum and has to be because most American speak and informal english in every day life as opposed to formal english which is mostly used in formal situations only and in literature. An ESL student who does not learn informal as well as regional english will be unprepared to deal with everyday life in everyday situations.

    Anyone who comes to live in America will have to deal with African Americans. Most ESL teachers that travel abroad are white females but when in America African Americans are the second largest demographic that you will encounter followed and fast apporached by Latinos.

    Much of the informal language that ESL teachers are teaching as well as slang comes out of the African American community but is often portrayed to the international community as coming from white America, when in fact white American is going to African Americans to keep up with the latest informal english and slang.

    If an African American instructor has, the following…

    1. A education and a formal degree
    2. no inflexible regional accent
    3. some life experience
    4. 1st hand knowlege of informal en inner city slang and regional dialects

    This person should be more in demand because as I said before it is good for an ESL to be exsposed to African Americans and informal english which is heavily influenced by African Americans and often immitated by white Americans even in mainstream media. For instance: A caucasian news caster says “It’s all good”, and an new international resident doesn’t know what that means. Well, this is an example of a widely accepted, current informal and commonly used english phrase that was created in the African American community that has now become mainstream. But it might be percieved as coming from mainstream white America when in fact it has been incorporated from African American culture. The contrubitions that have been made by African Americans in formal and accepted and commonly used (even in formal situations) informal english is greately under estimated and unfortunaly those contributions are often portrayed as coming from mainstream white America. To not expose ESL students to these things is to under prepare the for the “on the ground” english speaking experience. Anyone can teach formal english and it’s important that any ESL instructor be first and foremost well versed in formal english but the majority of American do not use formal english in every day life so its essential for an instructor to have both and this is where and African American instructor is essential to help to bridge the learning gap between formal and informal english.


  18. monica says:

    the black said,i am a chinese woman,,i have money in bank…so he want me to lend money to him….oh my god.


    Dividia Reply:

    Yes, you will find those kind everywhere. All black men are not like that. Next time, hand him a job application if they want money so badly. I do it and they leave me alone.


  19. monica says:

    on the other hand,many citizens have bad impressions about black man,there are some black here cheat.

    i said a black student here want me help him,,the black want to borrow 24000 rmb from me,,,but he just a net friend,we just get to know about half month,i dont know him well,,,and he will be graduated in 1 year,,

    if you were me,,,will you lent to him??
    if you were me,what do you think about him?
    do you always borrow money from a man that just made a quantence half month ago??


    asia1 Reply:

    Sorry to hear about the dilemna you are facing. Please do a google for Nigerian web scams and so forth. Good luck.


    Amos Lukyaa Reply:

    But Africa Continent is composed of 52 countries,Nigeria is among them i.e Nigeria is but one of many countries in our continent; please don’t mislead readers.


  20. asia1 says:

    danny says:
    February 11, 2009 at 1:26 am
    mate not being racist or anything but, what would the offspring looked like you shagged a chinese woman? just curious

    Danny, go to youtube and do a search, you will see many asian/black couples, and also ofspring. You can probably also do a google search if you are really curious. In general I have met people who were mixed with Asian and Black, they are beautiful, come in all shapes and sizes, and have features from very fair skinned to dark and lovely. Good luck!


  21. Rachel says:


    I am an African American female who plans on moving to China this summer. I have to say that I have had no difficulties finding a teaching position in China. In fact I have had to turn down several positions.
    Does China have racism I am sure it does, however, when I was there last, in Xian, I felt more accepted and respected there than I did back home. The Chinese respect teachers and the education you have earned to become one. As far as how your children will be accepted I went on a trip with my son and several students some Caucasian and some African Americans and all were treated extremely well by their peers. In fact the boys were treated like rock stars! My son was extremely popular with his peers and adults. Strangers kept calling him Obama. One Chinese official told him he wanted to shake his hand so he can say that he shook the hand of the next President. I really believe it just depends on were you go in China just like home.

    For those who are interested in a teaching position I would recommend check their website out. The gentleman who owns the company lives in China and is an ESL teacher so he knows what he is talking about.

    Do not let your let your fear of maybe stop you from living out your dearms.


  22. asia1 says:

    I am wondering if anyone can give me guidance on good places to apply for a job teaching English in China. I am African American, and would like to avoid some of the unpleasant experiences others have had. Any information anyone can give me would be most appreciated. I am older, and not a size two, but I have never let this stop me in terms of going abroad, or spending time in a different culture. I am fascinated by
    China, and wish to live in a region that does not get overly cold in the winter. Thank you.


  23. t.m. says:

    I am a white American male that has spent about a year in a large Chinese city. What I’ve noticed when with friends at the clubs, bars, or stores when hanging out with some black friends were that they were about half the time treated fine and the other half treated fairly bad.

    I’ve also noticed that Chinese will sometimes be very curious about blacks but behind their backs talk about how ugly their skin is. They will between themselves compare the tone of their skin. If they even get the slightest tan they will complain about how much they hate their “black” skin. They hate having tan skin and can be very disgusted by African’s skin. I feel very sorry for the Africans in China.


    j Reply:

    talking about color of the skin…at first, i am an average looking light brown asian girl, I always think subconsciously at times that we Asians are better than African women (in my mind only), however, when I travelled abroad I met and saw plenty of beautiful African women,and some have even perfect gorgeous bodies…. I don’t voice out my negative thoughts cause I know deep inside no matter how..IT IS WRONG TO THINK YOU ARE SUPERIOR BECAUSE OF YOUR COLOR AND, IT IS A THINKING WHICH IS PLAIN IGNORANCE AND STUPIDITY…but i heard and experience myself how fair asians like chinese and koreans are so obsessed about being fair that they are above narcissism, criticizing others openly because of color, putting every single cream just to be white and looking like mannequins (in a negative way)…At the moment, I do my best not to think and keep to myself comments which I know are plain narcissism and stupid…I still have those negative thinking but not about color but the character of the person, which I know is more sensible than judging the person through their skin color… However, with regards to African people and African others, sometimes, I can’t help but at timesbe prejudicial because how the way they act or perform in their job… I have worked with plenty of them and I could say half have got the rough attitude or just want to sit down, as my work is in a health care setting patience and hardwork are must do….to cut it short, If you want to go to china, as long as you have the proper character and perseverance, no matter where you land to, these are the necessary tools to survive…sorry my ideas are so plenty I just could not really make a perfect fit of it..:)…


    lol Reply:

    thats’s very correct but all a have to say is chinese live by colour not by brain.even a white fool will get a job( i mean teaching anyway) better than a brilliant black. i dont care anymore just seeking for my own happiness


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