All in Japan

Blackness Through a Japanese Lens

My Blackness certainly makes me highly visible in the streets of Tokyo. However, what is different, what has left an impression on me is the fact that when I speak or when I act, my words and actions are taken as my own and are valued without the shadow of stereotypes about intellectual inferiority.

"Can She Touch Your Hair?"

If, as a person of African descent, you are blessed with the opportunity to venture outside of your nation’s borders to a country with a small Black presence, you become a de facto ambassador for you race. Although sharing your rich heritage and pleasant intercultural dialogue is a large part of this experience, it is far from all it entails. Being a representative for Black people also means socially educating others—sometimes full grown adults—on how to behave when encountering someone who is, for them, outside of the norm.

In this nation there is very little exposure to or consideration of black culture aside from hip hop and jazz. With this in mind, I feel both the excitement of embracing a new culture and the serious responsibility of representing black women in a way that is worthy of our stature. I can’t wait!