Category Archives: “Race”

Wo Men Podcast transcript: Discussing Black Panther and Chinese views on Black People

Women podcast transcript

Hi everyone this is Jing Jing.

Hi Everyone this is Ya Jun.

Today it is our great honour to have Kassie Lee with us.

Yay. Welcome.

Thank you, so happy to be here.

Kassie is African American who has been living in China for three years. She’s a poet, a writer who just published her book which is called A Period of Warring States.

Periodwarringstates

….

You can buy it online at the publisher’s website. Anothernewcalligraphy.com. It’s a press in Chicago, so … It delivers all over the United States.

It’s beautiful.

It’s beautifully designed. And have a China Daily on the cover. Its really cute.

Did you draw them?

No so the press asked me to send a bunch of photos for inspiration for it, so I sent, .. do you know Lu Ba draw(?), she’s an artist in town, she makes really beautiful designs that I think symbolize Beijing, so I sent him some of her stuff, I sent him photos of pigeons because I think, I associate a lot of Pigeons with Beijing, when I moved here, hutongs, some surveillers, theirs surveillance cameras on the back …

So other than this beautiful book, the reason we want to invite KC today is to join us to discuss her new piece about the opening of Black Panther in China, and also talking, you know, a little bit, racial issues in China, so, ah, tell me, a little bit about your piece, you went to this big opening right, it looks really beautiful,

Absolutely so as you know Black Panther has been a worldwide phenomenon, and all my friends in America wen like maybe a month ago, all of us were getting excited for it to finally come to China,

Exactly

So this organization, called Opopo, which stands for One People One Purpose, run by a Black American woman named Rianna Erin, So she decided she wanted to throw a big party about Black Panther coming here, and, the thing about Black Panther is the costumes are so beautiful, they’re pan-African,

beautiful colours, and its kind of futuristic, so you kind of get to do this cool mix of being from the future and being African, so all the costumes and the outfits have been so beautiful so we wanted our Beijing version so she had a red carpet and there were photographers … and she bought a whole theatre down in Tiananmen square,

Wow

The whole theatre, and actually it sold out in two days and … it was packed, so we all went in, the whole theatre’s packed with like beautiful African diaspora, African people, and friends, and there’s two singers, so there was a black man, his name’s king, so he’s a local singer, so he sang some kind of soul ballads, and then another black woman came and sang, and then there was like Ugandan jimbae drummers, so that the drum that sits on your lap, people associate it with Africa, so there was six of them they were dressed in costumes and they were hitting the drums and everyone’s going crazy … and then it was time to watch Black Panther … so we all got to watch it together it was so interesting and fun and freeing to watch that movie in the context of the black community in China …

Mmm

So Im really grateful to Opopo for organizing it … So that was the event. And then I, along with sub-China, Asia managing editor, Mi Tou we went to the event because we wanted to cover it, we were all so excited,we wanted to be part of the fun, we thought it was just a really interesting story coming out of Beijing that you might not have heard otherwise so we went and we interviewed people we kind of wanted to be like red carpet journalists, we were like “what are you wearing”?

Laughter ..

That’s the part I really enjoyed on your piece

But what did you wear?

… I had a Bolero (Valero) jacket , so that’s kind of a short jacket that stops at your waist, then the fabric is Ghanaian, and black, so I bought it during college because in colleage I was really excited to be part of the African diaspora … I studied African ethnicity poetry and film, and I went to a lot of museums and openings about it so I was always like, African inspired, so its like Ghanaian prints from this designer Lucy Durudo,

Oh I like fashion

You should open your own fashion blog

Actually I’ll tell you I became a feminist from read feminist fashion blogs

Really

Yeah back in college I just loved clothes and I loved learning about clothes and like how they related to gender and women and policing ..race … like how you feel you are supposed to be as a woman … and cultural appropriation that happens in fashion so I learnt about that …

So let’s talk about your piece, so what was going through your mind when you were structuring that article?

Ah at first I wrote this kind of puff piece where I talked about the clothes, and then Anthony Child th editor sent me some other articles that I felt was guiding me in the direction to maybe make a more thoughtful or interesting piece, and then I was just chatting with him about the how I felt that the articles that he had sent me were just really basic and reductive and were kind of terrible like they had headlines like Chinese people think Black Panther is just too Black,

Yeah, I saw that headline too

And another headline was like Can Chinese people accept black people after Black Panther, and those article were really frustrating because a lot of the research was like quoting people on Dubar, the social platform, which is, you could go on the youtube comments of anything and prove any points, so that was frustrating, or they would just talk to one person in the theatre, and that person would be like yeah it was cool I thought it was about American Imperialism, it wasn’t about Black people, so they’d take like one quote from one person and then also, I thought that the one’s that were coming, there’s one in sixtow that came from a Black woman as well, and she said something that I really disagreed with, which … she says racism in China is cruder and more overt than it is in America,

Hnn…

Which I totally disagree with, … in the article I talked about what’s cruder or more overt than the police shooting you when you don’t have a gun on you, in the back, while you have handcuffs, which happens all the time, like every 28 hours a black man in America who’s unarmed gets shot by the police …

 

I thought it was just ridiculous to say, oh yu know, this English school didn’t hire me because, you know, I’m Black, as compared to the racism in America. And we have racial discrimination in employment in America its just not as posted, its in the back of everyone’s minds. So that was the big … and I was like, wechatting Anthony about it and he was like yeah you should put that in the article, and I was like alright partner I’m going to take this really really seriously now,

Laughter

Like before I was just like I want to go to the premiere and have fun and write a normal article and now I’m like .. really say my thoughts about blackness in China, and here, and my experience of race in China, and I think compared to people, a lot of black people also in Beijing, I think people kind of repeat these narratives, heard from here, its like, before they come they google what’s it like to be a black person in China, and it says, people are gonna stare at you, people are gonna want to touch your hair, they’ll want to take pictures. Then you Get here and that maybe happens when you’re like at Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City because those people are not from Beijing, When I’m doing my daily life, that never happens, so I feel like people are looking for things to prove that, a lot of times, although that definitely does exist, and there are examples in the media, and that’s another thing about the articles that were coming out, they were also citing the same incidents as proof of the racism here in China, it was a detergent commercial for Chalbi, they had a commercial where they had a black man and there was a Chinese lady and she kind of …

Oh, the washing machine

Yeah, the washing machine, and she puts him in and he comes out this sparkling Chinese man and a lot of Black people took that to mean oh they tink we’re dirty and that was an example that four articles have cited as Chinese racism and at the recent annual gala event tv show

Rightwhere they had these kind of … if I can just explain quickly, there was a sketch where Chinese people were wearing blackface, and they’d put thinkgs like silicone in their butts to make it look bigger

Like a fake ass

Yeah …

Laughter

So to look like this, you know, whatever version of African person,

How did that make you feel, I mean like … gala sketch was widely discussed and also widely criticized

Yeah,

In the international community in China, so how does that make you feel, like, as an African American, that lives in China

Mmhmm

Yeah I think the representation is totally grotesque and terrible and so messed up and not based on reality and making fun of something in a very mean oppressive way so I think its absolutely terrible … I do think that there was a good response from the media, in calling it out and saying why … As an African America … I don’t feel like that was making fun of me perhaps, I think maybe you know, this idea, it didn’t feel like its me, I didn’t feel like it had an impact on how Chinese people would treat me on the ground here in Beijing but I think it was absolutely terrible that they did that … it was deserved that they got the kind of reaction that they did in the media …

But..

To be honest its kind of interesting to see how the whole thing developed

The gala was the show of the year, the Spring Festival is the time that you feel the CCTV you know put so much attention and resources into that gala show … they’d reheased it so many times, it went through so many layers of approval, and they should get something right .. I think that’s why its discussed so much attention, if it was just some random local tv station, it wouldn’t get so much attention, but on the other hand I think its interesting to see how much attention it attracts, and at the same time to help people to really start to think about it … I mean before in China you only hear the voice from the Han ethnic group ..

 

especially in China and you know, help people to learn more.

Because in China I can of feel that we for whatever, because we’re kind of political, and there’s not like in the US there’s a huge diversity of culture and race, and in China, like it or not, we only here the voice in the media from the Han people’s voice so somehow I feel like after this CCTV people start to pay more attention to this racial issue, and also Black Panther came out and there’s so many weird discussion about it, also reading some comment piece, written by a Chinese writer on …that commentary piece was literally like really really really racist ..but the funny thing that’s in the article is that there’s no racial issue in China and there’s no racism in China .. and of course on the comments section there’s a lot of people criticize him, saying that your article is totally against your argument, what’s his argument, what’s he …

He says that the article was saying that you know Marvel tried too hard to make sure the movie is politically correct, because the whole cast and the director is either African or African American,

I think he’s African American … so the Chinese article concerned was saying that you know, nobody …dare to criticise the movie because if you criticize the movie you that means you are not politically correct, but that article starts to criticize the production, and he doesn’t like it, and he says, oh …I don’t like it not because I’m racist, .. there’s no racism in China,

Yeah

Yeah

Yeah, exactly, so you see a lot of this weird comments start to come out, and then at the same time you see people responded, in the comments section, so its very interesting in this year to with two things happening and attrat people’s attention to this topic

Going back to KC your experience in China because you’re in China for a little bit over three years, and then you were born and grew up in the US, and maybe you can share a little bit how you feel about your experience here compared to your experience back in America so, … first again, understanding of your life here,

Yeah, absolutely, its really complex, … I’ve lived in .. so America’s really diverse, and …  race is really different, and I grew up in southern California, and so it was diverse there in different ways, a lot of Asian Americans, a lot of Chicano, there were Latino people there, not that many Black people compared to other places in America, and then I went to New York city which is so many Black people from all over, a lot of Afro-Caribbean, a lot of African immigrants there, so that was one experience, and then I came to China, and also had a unique experience as well,

What do you mean unique?

Laughter

Um, so I think its also different between different people in China so I .. I’m African American and I came here and I’m a woman which I thinks its different than if I was African American man, there’s like differences there, specially people talk about things like dating, those kinds of things can be really different based on if you’re a man or a woman, And one feeling I had here is I felt invisible, in some ways that’s good and in some ways that’s not so good, like when you, for me when I walk around a street in America or I’m at a café and overhear people … often I’ll get angry about what I’m hearing because I think people are being kind of racist or something, very frequently you’ll like, you know, just overhear things, for me when I encounter … especially now with like Trump when I encounter a new white person, I’m always questioning, like in the back of my head, do they think I’m an angry Black woman, do they think Black people should be in prison, do they think like Make America Great, so its in the back of my mind wondering where a person thinks about race,

And it was only after Trump got you like this …

Its more so now because apparently a majority of white people n America decide that that was OK, so … in the privacy of a voting booth, so we were saying about the political correctness, its like pc culture, its like in America a lot of people will say to your face, I’m not racist, …you know, I’m not this that, but then, they go and then they

In their mind

Or when they’re with their family or especially where they know there is no person of colour around …like even ths week I was at a place where I was getting lunch and there were some Americans chatting and they were talking about similar themes of like race and I was listening to them and feeling like angry I can’t remember exactly what the topic was but

Another weird thing was like I was just walking one day and this was like an emotional feeling .. I was waling one day and hen a car came really close to me and I was lie OH …

Is this in Beijing

Yeah in Beijing and I was like this person, he ws like Chinese, he’s just driving bad, but I looked and it was a white person and I’m like scared now, cause there’s

Mmm

Not so much at my age, but there’s such a history of Black people being victims to just violence in America and 1820 no repercussions at all, its still like not like as much any more but its just like you know when my parents were born it was illegal for a black person and a white person to get married. Like its very recent that its started to be like that, so like in China I feel like people maybe don’t care so much about like enforcing racism here its just like ‘oh I don’t really know about that, or I never, I think especially the way I look like I’ve got big hair and stuff like that, its curly, especially when I’m in tourist areas people have literally never seen anyone who looks like me, in person, and its kind of that way even when I go to countries that are not China, that don’t have people that look like me, it’s the same thing, people are like Oh my God, can I take a picture, so its not like a Chinese-specific thing, um, in terms of that, which I think is a lot of what people talk about when they talk about racism in Beijing, is this

Feeling of oh they don’t understand my hair or they want to touch my hair, or they ask me, is there African people in America, or just kinds of things that I would associate more with ignorance than with like racism, racism is more to me like enforcing this kind of racist caste system, or like violence or things like that, like in Black Panther, I thought it was really nuanced the character who plays the villain, xxx, his name is Eric Kilmongerhe’s from Oakland, which is, I think that’s where the director’s from, in the comic book, that character’s from like Oakland, but they moved it to New York, and he is talking about the violence that happens in America, and he goes back in time ..and there’s the dad who was killed by the father of the Black Panther… yada yada … he goes back in a dream and visits his dad and his dad’s dead and in the flashback he’s like a kid and the dad says to him, why are you not crying, like I’m your dad and I died and why are you not crying, and he says, so many people die around here, and just, you know, there’s so much violence, in the states about the racial system and the director’s first movie, the screenwriting directors called Ryan k?ublic, and the villain Kilmonger is played by Michael B. Jordan, and their first film together was about a police shooting in Oakland, where a young blackman who also had a daughter a young daughter he got in a fight with some the police took him out of the subway with like four friends and they put them on the ground and they put them in handcuffs on their stomachs and the policeman gets out his gun and he shoots him, in the back, and he dies, so this was, I can’t remember, 2008 or 9, around then. So the policeman says I didn’t mean to get my gun I meant to get my taser, and taze him

Right

Ok, laughter

Got to try harder to make that excuse

Exactly, I mean and this happens so much in America, that’s what I was saying, every 28 hrs that happens in America, and so the police they have no repercussions, they don’t go to jail, they sometimes will get a suspension from their job, so that was part, so for me when I was watching Black Panther I knew that those two actors had had this background together and that it was set in Oakland, so that’s like kind of secretly in the film for me, when I’m watching it

I see

So for me, comparing that racism to like, you know, the racism in China is like they’re not even comparable,

Exactly

Not comparable

Yeah, exactly

That’s very interesting

Towards Black people,

You know that’s very interesting because personally I have very very limited knowledge about the Black community or African community, I have to confess that all of my knowledge about Black community in the US comes from um we have one friend who is African American and he’s very interesting always talk about you know cultural … he’s really talkative

Laughter

And we just love chatting with him and he’s so dramatic and another source for me is Blackish (laughter) the tv show,

I don’t watch it but I’m a fan of Tracy Ellis Ross, the Mom I think,  love her Instagram

Laughter

Yeah that’s my only knowledge source of like African American community. But I think, you know, I feel like at least I have some access to that … and I also study  RCs and people that like experience some kind of racial issues, in friends, so at least I had some kind of taste about it, but I think a lot of people around me like my family I don’t think they have ever met any you know black people in their life … so that’s why when you’re talking about ignorance its not an excuse but somehow I do feel like you know, the media give them a picture or stereotype you know for a Chinese audience about what Black people should be … or how they behave and all of that

Yeah, yeah

And I would say its not just a Chinese thing. I went Finland in college in for a week and on was on spring break and I was partying and I made some guy friends, and then they came to visit us in New York like maybe a year later and they were terrified, they were so scared, they were like, Oh my God, I’ve never seen Black people but I’m really scared, there’s so many Black people around, and they’re from Finland, and all they know about …

Because Finland is a very white community

All white

And they thing is they’d only seen Black people on tv., that’s my point, and so they thought they’d seen all the gangster films and the rap music videos and this idea is what they think of Black people, I mean honestly its really changing a lot and that’s why with Black Panther of Blackish we have shows like this we have Insecure which is a show which is like 20-something Black women in L.A.,

Laughter

And I think the biggest difference to me is like Black people are behind the cameras, they’re the directors and screenwriters now, but we’ve been represented by White directors and so we get like typecast as you know the thug or Black women get typecast as the Maid or the funny Maid or that kind of stuff so I do think that kind of Black where your only way of knowing about a certain community is from television that can totally guide your perception

yep yep unfortunately

I totally agree in terms of the misrepresentation in the creative industries, you know from movie, tv series, KC mentioned that it was Black people would play a villain or a bad guy and its rarely to see that Black people would play positive roles, to me I remember there is one movie I love it so much it was a music, Sister …

Sister Act

Right.

Yeah.

It was so great, that movie, and I remember like I watched on tv when I was young, and it was like probably in early 1990s, you know this is just an odd example to show that actually there are some …

Positive statements

Positive representation, which I think is like, you know, I totally agree if like more and more people are exposed to more diverse cultural representation, whether its race or ethnicity, and they would probably grow up to be embracing and then multiculture

Right

Actually the reason I want to do this episode is you know because of your article and because I don’t have an answer for that yet but I feel like you know its important for people to learn about the thing you know how we can contribute to this, to have more discussion about racial issue in China, and you know, help people to learn more, because you know I feel that in China we, because you know, we’re raised in the political whatever, out access to information is so limited,

Hmmm

Let alone African American or Black people or whatever, we cannot hear from our own minority groups yet just now at the lunch we were discussing image, public image of whether Uigurs, Tibetans or other minorities cannot be heard, in China there’s one voice its Han people’s voice, and that’s the voice that is emphasized over and over again, on tv, on media, yeah, so after a while we’re used to one voice, and you because you are in the system of that one voice, you need to reflect whether what we hear is right or wrong, whether it somehow lacks the complexity of kind of diversity you know cultural diversity, racial diversity, yeah, you know, just miss so much …

If we’re talking …about you know the Chinese diversity in terms of race and ethnicity, one I was thinking, I’m not trying to find excuse for people but I was just trying to dig out why people ..

Right, when you are the majority, you actually don’t know what the minority feels like, and you don’t know what sorts of comments you give would hurt minorities, because you had never experienced what a minority had experienced, for example, biases, or racist comment, so as a majority race growing in China you can probably never imagine, what the experience that minority might have, so I think it’s a totsl ignorance that totally needs more education, for them to stand in the opposite parties’ shoes, how does that make you feel if I say something, for example,

Yeah, that’s why I think studying overseas really helps because put myself into other peoples’ shoes,

Actually I went to France for a couple of years and in France my landlord was totally racist, and somehow I had a better experience in the US, I had an internship in a Mayor’s office in a city near Boston, and everyone there was like after the experience in France I feel like the experience was really amazing, people just show me everywhere and explain to me how the political system works and ah, it was really nice,

For the education purpose … what kind of behaviour pissed you off in China, if I may ask

Like, racially speaking?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Oh my God, well …

So many (laughter)

No, I’m like almost the opposite, I don’t know, I don’t think me personally I’ve experienced that much racism, here, almost at all, and anything that I would actually label like, that was really racist, there are times where you feel like people don’t understand, you want to ask questions

For example? Maybe give us an example.

Yeah, I had a friend who was, she was here a long time ago, she was like … she is Black she is from Columbia, she was at a conference and she remembers some guy, you know why you’re so dark? Because you eat too much soy sauce. Like

Laughter.

I just think he was being funny, but that’s my thing, when people bring up the racism in China, the biggest thing people say is the English teaching, that if you are black there’s discrimination in the English teaching industry, if you’re a native speaker, but they think that if you look like you’re African, maybe you won’t be hired, or if there’s a funny one in the group that happened in the Black Panther group, that someone was talking to a Chinese recruiter for an English teaching job, and the recruiter said I’m sorry but we’re looking for native English speakers only, and the person says well, what makes you think I’m not a native English speaker, and the recruiter says, well I don’t know, I’ve seen you posting a lot about this country Wakanda, and I don’t know where that is, but I know its not America or Canada.

Laughter.

So Wakanda’s the fictional land that Black Panther’s from. So its pretty funny. So, but for me, like people will say that you can be as dark as Barak Obama, but if you’re darker then you can’t work in the English teaching industry. This is kind of the rumour people talk about, this happens to people, I’ve never personally experienced it, I have friends who are darker than Barak Obama, (laughter) who work in education

Right, in China

Yeah, in China, in Beijing And Ah, I think that, so I haven’t experienced that that happens, so its kind of funny that people will phrase that that way, but I personally haven’t experienced that

Do you think that that feeling is stronger for people who come from so-called African countries?

You mean from the continent?

Yeah the continent of Africa.

Ah, yeah so a couple of things. So, one I think that especially from Americans, there’s a narrative where we want to paint Chinese people as racially behind us, and I think Americans like to do that, to say, we like to do that all over the world, to say Oh we’re better we’re more PC (politically correct), look at all this racist Chinese people, so when people went into this conversation with that as what they wanted to say and then tried to find things to prove it

Mmmm

So I personally haven’t experienced really that much racism, here, compared to anywhere. The second thing is yes, I’m an American, that’s a huge, huge difference, I think if you’re a native speaker of English but say you’re from Ghana, where they speak English but you have like a Ghanaian accent, there will be more discrimination for you, even from Black Americans I think we have some discrimination or I personally have some discrimination against Africans, here, as well

Oh!

I don’t like it, its not good, its just something  that’s like in my brain, I mean like in America we say everyone’s a little bit racist because our society’s racist

Yeah, exactly, everyone’s a little bit racist

My point is not that everyone’s trying to do that, its just that you’ve grown up and you have this racist idea of people before you met them, and then you spend your life actively trying to not be racist, or learn more and more and more, and that’s the best anyone can do is keep trying and learning about it, because you’re never going to be a perfect anti-racist

Laughter

And, so but there’s a huge divide I think, there’s a lot of people trying to bridge that gap, I specifically see a lot of people who are African, like their parents are from Africa, but they grew up in America and now they’re in China, so they feel connected to all three of those spaces

Yeah

And want to help, or work with how China is now working in Africa

Mmm I see …

Because there’s a whole different reason why a lot of people from the continent are here, its like, maybe they want to work in engineering, or this kind of stuff, to work on infrastructure, projects that China is doing right now in Africa, and that was something that also came up in the group that was kind of funny was, in the movie the girl makes a joke, about, this white American guy comes up behind her and kind of scares her, and she says don’t scare me like that, colonizer!

Laughter

She’s like don’t come up on me like that Colonizer!

So I asked in the group, How was that line translated in the subtitles? And someone said, Are you gonna use that word on Chinese people to talk about what they’re doing in Africa now?

Aha. Wow. Laughter. Bullshit!

Wow. OK. More laughter.

So I thought that was really, it’s just, I think that’s so, there’s like these global networks going on right now, so there’s this relationship between China and the continent that is not really related to my personal experience but I think it’s interesting and I’ve always kinda looked at it because I think it’s fascinating, like I’ve always been interested in global migration and diaspora and all that stuff, so that’s yeah, there’s African and there’s African American, here, and there’s also Afro-Caribbean here, and there’s people who are mixed, or like, so, it’s a big complicated thing, we’re not just like one big bloc of people that all think the same of have the same experiences,

Do you think that African people in China face more discrimination, also from Chinese people, than Black Americans do?

Mhmm.

It seems like there’s this image of African here as being like really dangerous, or people will say to me, oh I heard this African guy, like my Chinese tutor will be like Oh I heard these African guys, like, beat up this Chinese person on the weekend, there always doing that, or, people associate African people as like drug dealers here, like in ?? there’s that joke, there’s all these African guys selling drugs or whatever

Yeah, like, at the police station!

Laughter.

So isn’t that …. I don’t think Chinese people associate that with me, or, with other Black Americans

Mm. Hmm.

Um, its not good or bad, I just think bad exists in Beijing.

Mmmhm.

With, those kinds of ideas. Yeah.

Yeah.

That didn’t occur to me, to be honest, until I went to the Africa ..

Africa 2.0?

It’s a event?

It’s a panel discussion.

They’re like a group here, Africa 2.0 and they organize panel discussions, networking, all that kind of stuff.

Yep. Right.

The one I went to was, I think, a few weeks ago. Held in Bookworm. And they have like six panellists coming from different industries. Talking about their experience, how they think of the CCTV skit, and also their personal experience and their view about racial issues … in China, which was really interesting, so have people come from you know, some of them are from African American, other come from the continent of Africa,

Mmm

And that’s the first time I realised, oh, actually there’s a different background, people come from different countries, their viewpoint is very different, and their background is very different. Yeah that’s very interesting.

So, you mentioned in your articles there’s different ethnic, sorry, different groups, and the people try to connect to each other among, um, the Black people in China, so, how does that work?

Do you mean like wechat groups?

You mentioned that there’s like a bunch of them …

Or like organizations?

Yeah.

Yeah yeah yeah, so there’s like a bunch of different organizations and wechat groups, so there’s Opop, which is the one that did the event, the red carpet …

Right …

And they’re like a wechat magazine, so they publish wechat posts, about trying to spread positivity about Africa and its diaspora in China, And there’s Black Jem, which kind of more focusses on the creative industries and arts, so they’ll do big arts events, Africa 2.0 as you tlked about, there’s so many more, there’s wechat groups I’m in like one called like Black Expo, its just like again, another creative market type thing, there’s Black Women in Beijing, there’s … I’m probably in like six or seven wechat groups, that are on Blackness, some version, or interest within the …. And I think its like a bonding thing too, I mean I met some of my best friends when I first got here, we were in a bar and they were like You’re Black, I’m Black, let’s be Black girls in Beijing,

Yeah, laughter, That’s nice

So, I don’t know If Chinese people feel like if you’re in France and you met a Chinese person you might feel like, Oh Hey! I don’t know, I have no clue. But for me, I mean in high school I joined the Black club, … in college you just join, and yeah its nice there’s a share d experience and a culture element too, its like we like the same music, or wanna talk about something racist happens at work, you want someone who is like Yeah, I get it, not like, That’s not true, like you’re imagining that. So you like naturally find the community. Black women in particular, we have, you know, I’m like, I left all my make up in the taxi, where can I find my shade, and they’re like, Go to ? in ? they have … get the darker shade its gonna work,

Laughter

Especially for hair stuff too, that’s a big thing, we’re like, Oh I wanna get the Style Breeze, wanna do XYZ with my hair, someone help me buy something, yeah and then, just like kind of bonding, I love ? people, wherever they are, ….

Laughter

We’re just so beautiful, we’re just like … have so much fun, so … and I think the premiere really showed that,

Right, ahe fun

Yeah. And I think people who were Black were like, Wow! This is so cool! The music, the drums, the excitement, the clothes, the hair, you know?

Yeah.

We just like to … show our beauty to the world,

Yeah

That’s awesome. It’s just such an amazing culture, I mean like how you bond with each other and like, how many talented people, like really two of my favourite singers, amazing jazz singers, Black ladies, Nina Simone and Billy Holliday

Yeah

They’re like just the amazing voice ….

Yeah, like Nina Simone’s just so interesting, she wanted to be like a classical pianist …. But she got into like the top school and they were like, We’re not accepting Black people, even though she had all the talent to get in… So she’s like, So, I guess I have to go sing jazz, which was lucky for the world..

Yeah

Because she’s amazing

I know,

But she experienced, she moved to Africa for a bit, she moved to Liberia, and she was like, I finally feel free here, even though she’s Black American. So, you know, we’ve just been, especially artists and writers, …. I always talk about one of my favourite writers from the 1930s, he travelled extensively and he was in Shanghai, in the 1930s, and he was like hanging out with like jazz performers, and talking about race in Shanghai, and like white people in the French Concession, these people he met, and he was like, almost a hundred years ago, so we’re all, you know, it’s a beautiful artistic community,

Mmm

I think there’s a willingness to get to know each other, I hope … I mean I’m like this American, I know people from the Continent will be like Oh, she’s so American!

Aha (laughing). …

…. So many different cultures.

That’s the thing I don’t like, you know, in Chinese media, they always say Africa,

Yeah, that kind of covers everything …

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know

So people like in America in the States do that too … I’ll be like Name your favourite country and like Africa, and Argentina, and yeah, there’s like one of my favourite websites in college it was about news from Africa, but it was it was called Africa’snotacountry.com

Laughter. That’s awesome.

That’s great.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

So I hope we just like keep learning and engaging, with each other, and the world’s changing, and, I don’t know, let’s be part of it I hope

I hope whoever’s listening to this cast learn a little bit from it …

Yeah, absolutely

Yeah, having more discussions, learn from each other, talking …

Absolutely

… Thank you so much for having me …