Tag Archives: China Africa

[Podcast] Black Panther sparks debate over anti-black racism in China

Podcast from The China Africa Project.

The Marvel superhero blockbuster Black Panther generated a respectable $100 million at the Chinese box office in March, making it the film’s top overseas market. The movie had a very strong opening in China, earning more than $60 million during its first but then dropped off quickly.

The seemingly sharp fall in attendance prompted Western media outlets to write a series of articles that suggested Chinese moviegoers objected to Black Panther because of its all-black leading cast. “A torture for the eyes: Chinese moviegoers think Black Panther is just too black,” read Quartz reporter Echo Huang’s dismally-sourced story where she relied on online movie review sites, often filled with troll-like comments, as evidence of Chinese racism towards black people. Not surprisingly, Huang’s article went viral and sparked a lively discussion on social media about the supposedly pervasive racism in China towards black people.

“Cherry-picking negative posts on an anonymous reviews site isn’t a particularly fair way to assess Chinese attitudes toward black people (and one is likely to find plenty of racist comments on English language online chats too).” — Writer and commentator Jeff Yang

That Quartz story and others that linked Black Panther’s box office performance to Chinese racial attitudes toward black people was quickly challenged by other media outletssocial media influencers and scholars who all highlighted that Chinese reaction to the film was not as racially-tinged as had been suggested.

 

Cherry-picking negative posts on an anonymous reviews site isn’t a particularly fair way to assess Chinese attitudes toward black people (and one is likely to find plenty of racist comments on English language online chats too),” said San Franciso-based writer Jeff Yang in response to the Western media’s reporting on Black Panther’s supposedly lackluster response in China.

Roberto Castillo couldn’t agree more with Yang. Castillo, an assistant professor at Ling Nan University in Hong Kong, is one of the leading scholars on the African diaspora in China with a particular focus on African and black media perceptions in the PRC. He joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the Chinese response to Black Panther and why the Western media continues to misunderstand Chinese racial views towards black people.

 

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[Podcast] Black Panther sparks debate over anti-black racism in China

Podcast from The China Africa Project.

The Marvel superhero blockbuster Black Panther generated a respectable $100 million at the Chinese box office in March, making it the film’s top overseas market. The movie had a very strong opening in China, earning more than $60 million during its first but then dropped off quickly.

The seemingly sharp fall in attendance prompted Western media outlets to write a series of articles that suggested Chinese moviegoers objected to Black Panther because of its all-black leading cast. “A torture for the eyes: Chinese moviegoers think Black Panther is just too black,” read Quartz reporter Echo Huang’s dismally-sourced story where she relied on online movie review sites, often filled with troll-like comments, as evidence of Chinese racism towards black people. Not surprisingly, Huang’s article went viral and sparked a lively discussion on social media about the supposedly pervasive racism in China towards black people.

“Cherry-picking negative posts on an anonymous reviews site isn’t a particularly fair way to assess Chinese attitudes toward black people (and one is likely to find plenty of racist comments on English language online chats too).” — Writer and commentator Jeff Yang

That Quartz story and others that linked Black Panther’s box office performance to Chinese racial attitudes toward black people was quickly challenged by other media outletssocial media influencers and scholars who all highlighted that Chinese reaction to the film was not as racially-tinged as had been suggested.

 

Cherry-picking negative posts on an anonymous reviews site isn’t a particularly fair way to assess Chinese attitudes toward black people (and one is likely to find plenty of racist comments on English language online chats too),” said San Franciso-based writer Jeff Yang in response to the Western media’s reporting on Black Panther’s supposedly lackluster response in China.

Roberto Castillo couldn’t agree more with Yang. Castillo, an assistant professor at Ling Nan University in Hong Kong, is one of the leading scholars on the African diaspora in China with a particular focus on African and black media perceptions in the PRC. He joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the Chinese response to Black Panther and why the Western media continues to misunderstand Chinese racial views towards black people.

 

[Media Reports] African traders in China struggle, but still thrive

By Frederick Mugira for Wits Journalism

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The old couches, low tables placed in front of them, only amplify the smallness of the room where the 50-year-old Tanzanian lady is serving boiled bananas and chicken. The room is on the 16th floor of Block D in Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong. A board pasted onto the wall lists the foods she serves and their prices.

A door leads out of the restaurant into another room, this one with bunk beds. It is used as a guest house. The Tanzanian lady tells me she has been in Hong Kong for the last 5 years.

Modu Medard, a Ghanaian, sells garments and shoes made in China, Philippines and his home country. He has lived and worked as a trader in Hong Kong for the last 16 years. His shop is one of many on the very busy first floor of the same building, Chungking Mansions.

A few feet away from Modu’s shop is another shop owned by Babangida, a Nigerian. He sells jeans and shoes made in China, and has been operating this shop for the last seven years.

The number of Africans living and trading in southern China has been on the rise in recent times. Most are traders, but they have started venturing into other activities as well, including teaching English and playing professional football.

There are about 20,000 African immigrants in Hong Kong alone which, alongside Guangzhou, Yiwu, Macau, Shanghai and Beijing, is one of the preferred destinations for Africans going to China. 3,000 of these are permanent residents, while close to 500 are refugees. Most of them are traders, usually in electronics, phones and garments, or operate restaurants. Most of them work and live in Chungking Mansions. [Keep reading here]