As a Black-American, I often view myself and my history in relation to the United States. I grew up in South Atlanta, home to world-renowned black thinkers, artists and some of the best Rap and Hip-hop in the world. I am a product of my environment and, consequently, have a deep appreciation for Black history and culture.
To some, my decision to make a life in China might be surprising. The truth is, my initial interest in China was quite shallow. Conventional wisdom told me that China was the new place to be, learning Chinese was important, and investing my time and effort in China would yield success. As a young, motivated student that was all that I needed to hear. What I did not know was that, in coming to new understandings about China, I would come to a new understanding about myself, my people and my history that existed outside of the narrative that existed in the United States.
I’ve been living in China for three years now. During the course of my time here I’ve undertaken a research project that maps the connections between Black America and China throughout history.
Come with me from South China to South Atlanta and back again…