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Floating Population from Africa: Black Experience and Anti-Black Racism in China (Guangzhi Huang, Thomas Jefferson University)
Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 04:00pm - 05:00pm
Contact Louisa Schein (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

This is part of Louisa Schein's class, "Anthropology of China." The talk is open to the public. Everybody is welcome. It is generously co-sponsored by Rutgers Global.

Guangzhi Huang


Guangzhou's African community began in the early 2000s with much fanfare: the local government designated a Sino-Africa trade zone, raved about the characters of these newcomers, and even encouraged racial mixing. By the early 2010s, however, the official discourse about the community pivoted to one about law and order and fighting illegal immigration. Many Africans found themselves targets of stigmatization and incessant police harassments, something that many rural migrants are accustomed to. Indeed, the local government categorized them as part of the floating population. Today, with most Africans having left the area, the community is a shell of its former self. This talk provides a brief account of the formation of Guangzhou’s African community, tracing it all the way back to the 1950s, and describes in detail Africans’ experience in Guangzhou, focusing in particular on their conflicts with law enforcement. This discussion brings up the controversial topic of anti-black racism in China, the nature and expression of which are still subject to much scholarly debate.


Guangzhi Huang is an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University. His research interest lies at the intersection of race and urban development in post-socialist China. Specifically, he investigates institutional racism against Africans by the local state in Guangzhou and its connection to the city’s urban developments. More broadly, he’s interested in how whiteness informs urban growth in China in symbolic ways that are usually disguised as modernization.

Location  Biological Sciences Building 205 (Douglass Campus)