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“Their perception was that I was somehow better than a black person from Africa because of my Americanness. mistaken beliefs of American wealth and power versus stereotypes of African poverty and suffering.”In response to international criticism of racism against blacks in China, some commentators have argued that the racism is not as serious as it is in other countries.
Hong Kong columnist Alex Lo wrote in the South China Morning Post that criticism from Americans is “rich coming from a country that was founded on black slavery… But murderous racism against blacks isn’t one of them.”And of course racial tensions occur elsewhere, sometimes with ethnic Chinese as the victims.
Estimates for the number of sub-Saharan Africans in Guangzhou (nicknamed “Chocolate City” in Chinese) range from 150,000 long-term residents, according to 2014 government statistics, to as high as 300,000—figures complicated by the number of Africans coming in and out of the country as well as those who overstay their visas.
Looking deeper into history, evidence suggests a preference for slaves from East Africa in ancient China.
African slavery in the country peaked during the Tang (618 to 907) and Song (960 to 1279) dynasties.
They grapple with the question: Is it racism or ignorance? Paolo Cesar, an African-Brazilian who has worked as a musician in Shanghai for 18 years and has a Chinese wife, said music has been a great way for him to connect with audiences and make local friends.
However, his mixed-race son often comes home unhappy because of bullying at school.
But others say that improving relations requires more than black people learning the language, since that shifts responsibility away from the Chinese.“The government has never done anything serious to clean up racist ideas created and populated by the [turn-of-the-20th-century] intellectuals and politicians that constructed a global racial hierarchy in which the whites were on the top, Chinese the second, and blacks the bottom,” said Cheng Yinghong, a history professor at Delaware State University who researches nationalism and discourse of race in China.