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April 07, 2006



What a good post! May I say (haha think I am) that you are not alone. Like you, I don't know if it is an African American thing or what but I feel the need to 'represent' all the time, everywhere. I live in the US and even here I feel the need to represent to show a positive side of AAs that unfortunately never seems to get as much media airplay as the negative. On the flip side though I feel the need to represent any time I am a minority, whether that is as a female in a male dominated field, an American, or even from a much smaller demographic such as very light-skinned AA (that drama is for another post :) ). Maybe it is just being too self-aware/conscious or just a need we feel to try and show another side, a better side perhaps people may not have seen. If you were to reverse things and say that AAs had a very positive perception worldwide as all of us being affluent, brilliant, friendly, etc etc would you/we still feel the need to represent? Would we feel freer to just be ourselves instead of spokespeople for our race?


Hey, I am loving what you are doing with this site. Have you heard of this other site called, Blacks in Asia. Take a look: www.blacksinasia.org. Try contacting the person who runs to see if you can add an essay of yours to the archives..k


Christina Brown

Hello, my name is Christina and I am a black female. I was debating about this issue and I think that when I go to Japan for study abroad my junior year in college, I have to become the ambassador for Black America. We as black people get such a bad rep around the world and I think I have to prove them wrong.


I think I have to become Black America's ambassador when I go to Japan my junior year at school. Black people get a bad rep in many countries around the world that I have prove them wrong.


@ Christina and Remi-- I understand how you feel. Good-luck!



I wish your blog had been up and running when I lived in Japan. Would've been nice to connect with someone who shared the same experiences of being Black there. Sounds like you're going thru the exact same issues I did. Eventually most of that worrying fades away and Japan becomes "yours."

P.S. Love the new look of the blog!

Geneka Holyfield

Wow. This is such an interesting read. I know where this comes from and I understand it but I have never felt like this. While I was in China I danced and I danced well. We can't allow ourselves to shame ourselves from any part of anything that feels right for us.

p.s. I love this blog. I am trying to decide if I should move to Japan. Thanks!


I love it!! I'm Haitian?Cuban w/a six year old who's half P.R. We plan on visiting Japan this fall or next summer. The world is a playground shared by all of us. There's nothing to represent!!!! :)


Hi, my name Tya and I am a young black girl. You are like my idol.I want to live in japan when I become of age.I love the culture and lifestyle -but mainly the fashion because I love fashion and want to be a fashion designer when I become of age.I have so many questions to ask you.


I agree, I am black too and as much as I love japan we will prove them wrong!


16, black male in japan. Where i live here, in a city with NO black teenagers, things get realll boring. Got me feeling homesick all the time. used to feel like I was being watched in the beginning but then i thought "who cares" and just did it how i do.Really does suck here though


wonderful post...It kinda threw me off because I would think that if your living in another country you could free your mind (lol)..Well I will visit Japan in April and I'm going to dance my ass off.. lololo

People have made us feel that our culture and traditions are wrong...than they use it to make money..keep your head up...feel good that you can move to the beat lololo!

stereotypes are something thats not true...however grating our hips to the beat is true and beautiful!



I love your post. I'm thinking about becoming an electronics engineer and I was going to go to Japan or China for my year at work. I'm currently residing in Britain but my nationality is African. I am worried because already i'm being put of my carrer choice because i'm a woman but I was worried about being black in asia.i think the need to represent comes from originating from a country that has stereotypes, bad ones. I'm nigerian and everyone thinks that nigerians are theives and no good so naturally when i go out I try to represent the good part of my country, the educated ones. but as i'm getting older i'm getting tired of constantly having to justify myself i am only 1 person and not a nation and as long as i remember that I think I can take on anything. :)


Nice lovely post!
I adored it.. really. I'm really interested in going to japan and this really opened my eyes a bit. I love what "butterfly" said above me too. As too, am born in Britain, I am of the African origin. And to be more specific, yes I'm nigerian too.
I'm sure, most nigerians wouldn't understand why I'd be so interested in another country when I hardly even know my own sadly.. however, it isn't about them. It's about me and what i am interested in and want to do. Thanks for your inspiration - even though this is 4 years old :O lol :)

Iyakia Hentaru

Nice post! My step sisters are half indian and half japanese butt the always get called black. the only thing that people judge them by is thier hair, the only way thier hair got the way it did is because of a fire incident when they visited america. so to shut everybody up, the show thier burn marks. But the youngest one (shio) loves all the attention she gets and she is the one you won't think the is ghetto, and the older one (aiyakia) really doesn't talk because she doesn't know how to act like she looks. ^^ it's fun to watch them get along with everyone here in Okinawa.

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