Being Black In China
Print Friendly and PDF

Marketus Presswood writes in TeaLeafNation about being black in China.

My own experience in China began in the late 90s. While working for a major international language company, I taught English to Chinese from all socio-economic backgrounds.

Things went along happily for a while.  Then:

There were a number of complaints from students. My supervisor investigated . . .  She told me I was an excellent teacher and could find little fault in my methods and teaching of the prescribed curriculum. Students just wanted a “different” teacher.

While on break, I overheard students speaking in Chinese about how they were paying so much money and wanted a white instructor . . .  Not only did they want white teachers, they wanted attractive ones. I overheard a number of students discussing and comparing the physical attractiveness of one teacher over another. Students were even willing to accept a white, non-native English speaker over a black, native English speaker.

I’ve heard a lot of stories like this, mostly from the other side.  Pampered American blacks like Presswood, hyper-sensitized to “racism,” reel with shock at quite natural and harmless aesthetic preferences like those above, but black Africans have more sense.  They shrug it all off and get along pretty well. 

There is a big West African trading community in Canton.  Friction with the Chinese has been surprisingly rare.  Francophone and Anglophone West Africans communicate in excellent Mandarin.  They have even made inroads into Chinese Opera.

Numbers are of the essence, of course.  The Chinese have very little inclination to ethnomasochism, so it is not likely they will open their country to settlement by millions of blacks any time soon.

If they did, it would provide an interesting field test for Contact Theory.  The trading communities aside, practically all blacks in China today are IWSBs—intelligent, well-socialized blacks like Presswood or Barack Obama’s half-brother.  A major inflow of Rachel Jeantels might change the picture.  



Print Friendly and PDF