Being black in China

Noo Saro-Wiwa, author of ‘Black Ghosts’, and BBC journalist Danny Vincent discuss China’s African community and the country’s ‘pragmatic’ attitudes to race.

The World Today Published 1 December 2023 Updated 20 December 2023 5 minute READ

Noo Saro-Wiwa

Travel writer

Danny Vincent

Senior journalist, BBC

Black Ghosts: A Journey into the Lives of Africans in China
Noo Saro-Wiwa, Canongate, £14.99

Noo Saro-Wiwa is a British-Nigerian author and journalist. Her first book, ‘Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria’, was published by Granta in 2012. Her second book, ‘Black Ghosts’, explores the African community in China. Here she talks to Danny Vincent, a British journalist of Dominican and Nigerian descent. He moved to China in 2008 and has been reporting for the BBC in China since 2015. 

Noo
When I first heard about Africans in China, I was blown away. China was one of those countries that wasn’t on my radar in terms of travel. Culturally and linguistically, it’s so different. Their behaviour and attitude towards black people just seem less filtered, and I thought, how do Africans negotiate that kind of society? That’s why I decided to go.

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