'AMBW' is a growing internet-dating subculture with Facebook groups, meet-ups, and websites. Photo courtesy of Asian Men and Black Women. New data reveals something new about black women and dating: They have a preference for intra-ethnic dating rivaled only by Korean men. 한국 남성들은 흑인 여성과의 데이트에 대해 어떻게 생각하는가? I have seen many black guys dating Korean girls, but I have never seen Ko.
Does Issa Rae Believe Black Women and Asian Men Can Save Each Other?
During several job interviews, interviewees tried to explain that I would experience culture shock, and that locals would act very surprised to see me. I was also informed that the food would be very different and that it was really going to be a massive change. But I didn't think too much about how it would be as a black woman, besides the issue of people touching my hair and how I was going to respond.
Finding Black Girl Magic in South Korea - OkayAfrica
I think I remember telling some of my friends that I'm no stranger to any of these things—for instance, when I had holiday jobs during school holidays I had a few white customers who were surprised at my mastery of English. I also had white friends who were amazed at my weave or braids.
If I was going to be othered, it was nothing I had not experienced before. I did watch a few YouTube videos on interracial dating in South Korea because I was interested in what was going to happen to my dating life, which was almost non-existent before I left South Africa anyway. Thinking back, nothing shocked me. I was feeling pretty confident. My first few months were pure bliss. I was happy to be away from home and I was happy to be in a new environment, to be meeting new people, and to be living in South Korea.
But the hype started wearing off when I had an experience on a job where it literally felt like I was in high school and a group of mean girls were picking on me. It led me to start thinking about race and what life in Korea is like as a black woman. I began having conversations with other black women in South Korea.
Some have lived in other parts of Asia too. I wanted to hear about their experiences. Here's what they had to say. I was here for a year and nine months then left and returned in August What was it like when you first arrived in South Korea?
It was [interesting] getting used to the new environment and getting used to being othered. What do you mean by saying getting used to being othered?
Does Issa Rae Believe Black Women and Asian Men Can Save Each Other?
Well, I guess I wasn't used to people watching me and looking at me because they weren't used to seeing black people. This was when I first arrived and lived in Jeonju. It's not like that in Seoul. What else was interesting about traveling or living in South Korea?
Being considered American all of a sudden. Because in America I know I'm American but there isn't that much emphasis. I'm first generation American. Do you feel more American in Korea? But that's changed quite a bit. The perception has been that black people are not from America. Do Koreans still respond that way to black Americans today? Over the past few years Korean [young people] have been exposed more to America through music, social media and culture.
Hip-hop music is very popular here. Thanks to trap music we [black people] are now seen as Americans. Do you get unwanted attention? Have you ever been treated differently? No, if anything the attention has been great.
Since living in South Korea I have started getting modelling gigs.
Koreans will tell you if you look good. So I've been really lucky here. I've kinda popped up.
The only thing I see as negative is how people see black people—it's surface-level based. There's no real understanding of black people. What's been hard about living here? Trying to get a job as a black person is hard. This March I was looking for jobs.
I interviewed with the recruiters who were happy and a few days later they called me to tell me the school didn't want to hire black people. Young people are open to black people, maybe it's not quite the same with the older people. People smelling my hands and touching my skin wondering why it's so soft.
Do you see yourself living here and settling long-term? No, I'd consider doing business here maybe and being between here and somewhere else. I respect Korea for coming from nothing and building themselves up to where they are today. I like the hustle. Jennifer Bobinski26 How long have you lived in South Korea?
I have been back and forth. Why did you come to Korea? In university, my major was Korean studies. I wanted to learn more about the people and the culture. So my friends and I decided to visit.
A lot of my teachers encouraged us to visit South Korea. What were some of the things you thought you would encounter in Korea? We were all from France but a lot of us are children of immigrants. I thought we would have a lot of difficulties but the opposite was true.
Old people were a lot more open without any shyness. If you're black in Korea, you're from America. So you left Korea and came back, what made you come back?
Here’s How Black Women, Korean Men Date the Same | Foxy
The atmosphere; the party life is crazy and everything is open 24 hours. Compared to France the economy is still growing. Since the first time you arrived in Korea to now, how are things different?
I have not seen much of a change in the way Koreans interact with black people. The friends that have lived outside of Korea can speak openly about race and they are more aware. What do you mean by freedom? And I haven't really felt oppressed by restrictions such as the way you are expected to dressI wear what I want, I party the same way I did when I was back home.
You have to understand the context in which this passage exploded. I saw memes about how black men were taking L after L these days. And of course, there was pushback from black men as well, saying that black women were trying to control them or that black women were being bitter because they themselves wanted approval from white men. So I think this Issa Rae passage provided some ammunition for black men to defend themselves. Thus, internal fights within minority communities that were suppressed for the sake of appearances are now surfacing.
So watching the same fight in the black community is fascinating, because in terms of relative social positioning, black women are more like Asian men. Glamour I have to say I empathize a lot with black women. I know just how infuriating it can be to have the opposite gender of your community sell you out for white acceptance. That anger never goes away, no matter how much personal romantic success you have.
Finding Black Girl Magic in South Korea
Because racism is racism. Just look at how many black women wanted to throw Stephon Clark into a figurative ditch of a grave because of what he said about black women. Liberal think tanks like the Brookings Institute clickbait by insinuating that black women would be better off not marrying black men. It makes me reaffirm my Ali Wong standom because she talks so much about her Asian husband.