Within hours of arriving in Seoul, I’d already heard of a Ghanaian actor famous in Korea (I tweeted Sam Okyere right away!), and met two American young women. That was 3 more black people I’d interacted with than my original project prior to Seoul, “Black in Japan“!
It wasn’t part of my plan to meet Janelle and Maja; two larger-than-life black girls who’ve ditched the limitations of their home country to reap opportunities available to them in South Korea. Perhaps it was the setting that had provided this opportunity. Sat in 카페ho2 café – trendy without being hipsterish (yes it’s possible), I quickly realised Seoul has all the upscale of Tokyo, whilst still remaining grounded, creating a much friendlier environment. And I knew straight away for this reason alone, I’d like it. Then by chance, Maja (nickname meaning “correct”) and Janelle walk through the doors after spotting a mutual friend. And that was my first interaction with black girls in Korea. They joined our table and H02 cafe came alive with chatter and laughter – showing a diverse international-intellectual group of friends. I didn’t shy away from asking them their experience being ‘black in Korea’, of which my questions included dating Korean men… But somethings are better left in the moment… Or for another blog post!
Check out Seoul siSTARS: Black Girls Rock Korea for more on what the two friends had to say on being “Black in Korea”.
As always – leave comments below!