They asked “You live in South Korea? How can you live in such a racist place?”
And I said “You need to stop watching that shit on television. Not everything you see there is true. South Korea is a beautiful country, full of beautiful people and opportunities.”
This was after my first year in Korea. Going back home was reverse culture shock. How can people be so ignorant about the world? I used to let that thought bother me until I remembered I was living better than them.
Most black Americans (especially in the south) have a thing called “slave mentality”. They legit still think like our ancestors. Ancestors that were beaten, in chains, and were told they were nothing. The fact that people still think like this is a testament to how far back our minds have been since the end of the civil rights movement.
The black Americans that DO get out of that mindset are seen as “turning [our] back on who [we] are” or “uncle Tom” or so many other negative things. It’s bad enough when white people say this but when black people do it, it hurts.
Growing up, my parents NEVER raised my brother and I have to have a victim mentality. In many ways, we’re more like our grandparents. People tell us “you can’t” and we end up doing it anyway. We’ve had our moments but we manage to get out of it by just DOING.
When I heard about teaching in South Korea, I was excited. I can leave north Texas and make money? What’s so bad about that?
Oh, we don’t want you to go there. We can’t get in touch with you.
I heard from so-called friends and family. This translates to either “Our life will be boring without you” or “You’re going off to be better than me? Not on MY watch!”.
Family, if your gut tells you to get out of your comfort zone, get out of it.
This is especially true for black Americans. There are so many things in the United States that keep us down mentally. Having a degree today means jack squat unless you know how to create your own business and/or have great connections.
I’ve been back and forth between Korea and Texas for four years and they’ve been the best moments of my life. There were a LOT of ups and down but i’d rather go through them in a place where I can grow instead of a place where I can’t.
Black Africans from all over start their lives in Seoul or Tokyo and are very successful. They have clothes stores, restaurants, hair shops, and record stores all over various neighborhoods. If they can do it, we can too. As a matter of fact, some of us DO own some of what i’ve mentioned but it’s only a handful.
Many foreigners from other countries start businesses in the United States and in other Asian countries. We’re no exception to this. You’d be surprised at how many natives will go to a foreigner’s business and buy stuff. There’s a soul food restaurant in Seoul that has a many Korean and non-Korean customers show up daily!
I’m a sucker for hustling and when I see black hustlers in Asia that arn’t selling drugs or trying to scam people, it warms my heart.
Just like in the United States, we’re in demand for small or big roles in entertainment. Unfortunately like in the states, some want us for stereotypical roles. The good thing is in Asia we can actually turn them down and go some place else with little to no ease.
Greg Priester is thriving in Korea as a singer and actor. He was recently on the very popular drama “Answer Me 1988”.
Dante Carver lived in Japan for over a decade and is making strides in his commercials with Softbank. I show a picture of me with him and the Japanese go crazy. They LOVE him!
Crystal Kay is a very popular singer in Japan and has worked with various other artists from around the world.
These people made their way to Asia to get a start in whatever it was they wanted to do and haven’t looked back.
If you’re in college debt, now is a great time to travel! Whatever degree you have, South Korea and Japan will let you “teach” with it.
Depending on where you work, your debts can be paid off quicker thanks to not having to pay rent. The cost of living in Korea is cheap (even cheaper if you’re a minimalist) and setting aside a little over $1k
My favorite thing about living in Korea is every black American i’ve met in Asia doesn’t have a victim mentality. Let me say that again: EVERY BLACK AMERICAN I’VE MET IN ASIA DOESN’T HAVE A VICTIM MENTALITY.
In 2012, I joined the group Brothas and Sistas of South Korea and every single person there LIFTED ME UP! When I felt down, they supported me. I never got that kind of love at home. My dad told me the only reason I got so much support from us over here is because we HAVE to support each other; at home, we don’t have to.
I call bollocks to that because even here in Korea and in Japan, the natives support each other no matter what. White Americans will help each other out at home. Black Americans will only support each other if we’re athletes, entertainers, or we’ve gone to jail for something we’re blatantly guilty for.
I ALMOST developed a victim mentality in west Texas thanks to believing in lies. Getting a job because I had a degree was a lie I believed for many years until the truth was discovered for myself. This was after living in Korea for 21 months the first time. “I can’t get anything because i’m black! They won’t accept me! WAAAHHHH!!!”
Every black person i’ve met here has got something going on for themselves and their family. This isn’t to say that this doesn’t happen in the states but it’s very few and far between compared to here.
If you’re a college graduate that wants to make things simpler, move to Asia. Notice I said SIMPLER, not easier. If there’s something you really want, it won’t come easy. It’ll just make your life simpler.
If you want to travel, where do you want to go and why? What do you want to build? Think about it.
Peace and love!