General Question

Cooldil17's avatar

What do you call an african (to be politically incorrect; a black person) who is born in china?

Asked by Cooldil17 (482points) May 6th, 2010

You call an african born in america an african american but what do you call someone who is of african descent (black) and born in china?

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29 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You call them whatever they want to be called. They can still say they’re African. They can say Chinese-African, whatever.

janbb's avatar

I’m with @Simone_De_Beauvoir . I would ask them what they want to be called. I always believe it is a group or individual’s right to deicde what they want to be called at any given time.

jaytkay's avatar

Evan Osnos had a really interesting article in The New Yorker about African traders living in Guangzhou China.

Their neighborhood is called Chocolate City, and they make a scanty living buying Chinese goods and shipping them back home, which is usually Nigeria. What really struck me is the way it mirrors Chinese immigration to the US in the 1800s and early 1900s, with tight communities very separate from the native-born people.

A podcast with Evan Osnos : The New Yorker

Evan Osnos on African merchants living in China: Audio Slide Show

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filmfann's avatar

You had to ask this in the General section?

Afro-Asian is the correct term. This site mentions Butterfinger, but I suspect that is racist, and still not as funny as the one I came up with.


Simply, “a black person born in China”.

Haleth's avatar

@jaytkay That’s a fascinating link. I had no idea this community existed.

judochop's avatar

Why do we have to install the prefix of African before you address a “black” person? I do not expect any of you to address me as Irish American or my friend who is Russian, a Russian American. People need to stop with the tags. It is the same as politics. If you pigeonhole a race the same as you pigeonhole politics then it will continue to create stereotypes. He is a black man and if he does not like the word black then he is a brown man, just like I am a white man. Even if it is not really my skin color. Just to be super correct why don’t we refer to white people as peach people?

jaytkay's avatar

Why do we have to install the prefix of African before you address a “black” person?

That is a whole different question*, I don’t think we should get sidetracked.

I would really like to hear from people who live or have lived in China on this question.

* I know a web site where you can ask questions like that! :-)

iphigeneia's avatar

So are you asking about China specifically? Or just non-US countries?

I don’t think that ‘black’ is politically incorrect. Not all black people are from Africa, so it’s the only word I can think of that would describe all people with darker skintones. If origin is relevant, then I’d go with ‘Chinese-born African’, ‘Chinese of African descent’, or just ‘African’, depending on context.

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TexasDude's avatar

Protip: Most black people I know prefer to be called just that: black. I know some real Africans from Darfur who refer to themselves (though grudgingly, because they think color is a stupid defining characteristic of people- an assertion I agree with) as black. I know a Korean who prefers black, and I know a British young man who prefers black. Black doesn’t seem to be as politically incorrect a racial term as people think.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Why is it necessary to identify his racial descriptors at all. Even specifying his country of birth is only important in limited circumstances. Why can’t it be “this guy I know” or “my new friend” or something like that?

WolfFang's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I prefer to be called a human, a person. If people absolutely must have a tag in association with me, I’ll go with African-American cause it’s politically correct i guess

TexasDude's avatar

@WolfFang, note that I said that I personally believe that color labels are stupid. I’m just reiterating my own observations of my friends and acquaintances.

WolfFang's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I know, no harm, I was just throwing my personal stance out there.

Arisztid's avatar

I would think Chinese. That is what I would want to be called if I was a black guy from China. @filmfann said “Afro-Asian?? I would just ask them what they want to be called and try to keep it straight in my damaged memory just like I do “African American” vs “black” (not everyone wants to be called the same thing).

From what I can see, America is the only nation that has to stick “African” before “American.” I do not know of any “African British” people, for example.

Referring to only black people only as “African” is incorrect. There are white people from Africa as well. I am certain there are people of other ethnicities kicking around there as well. African is actually not an ethnicity… it is a nationality. That is kind of like “Irish/Italian/Mexican/etc-Americans: the first word is a nationality, not ethnicity.

I just do not see a need to identify both my ethnic heritage and nationality every time I open my mouth. When I am asked what I am, if they are referring to nationality I say American. If they are referring to ethnicity, I say Rromani Gypsy (usually just “Gypsy” if someone knows what we are). If I was black, white, Asian, etc., it would be the same.

jaketheripper's avatar

It seems to me that sensitive people come up with non-offensive terms for a particular group and convince everyone else to use them, but by the time everyone gets around to using them they are no longer non-offensive…

jaketheripper's avatar

@Arisztid fyi Africa is a continent not a country so African is not a nationality.

Arisztid's avatar

@jaketheripper I sit corrected. You are right re country vs. continent. However, it is still not an ethnicity… it is a location with people of many ethnicities living there.

wilma's avatar

If he was born in China and that was his nationality, I would call him Chinese.
His heritage might be of one of the African countries, but that is a different discussion, isn’t it?

iphigeneia's avatar

@wilma, actually, I thought that it is the discussion we’re having.

Just to expand on my previous answer, I would call the person African (or I would be more specific with regards to their ethnicity/family’s country of origin) in the same way that I call some of my friends Indian or Italian. In most contexts that I can think of, mentioning that they are Australian is not necessary because it’s just assumed.

wilma's avatar

@iphigeneia yes, I guess you might be right there.
I would call him Chinese of African decent, ethnicity or heritage.

Mikelbf2000's avatar

I just call them black people. He or she is not African if not born in Africa. If I know the individuals name then I call them by thier name. Skin color is of no concern to me.

bea2345's avatar

In Jamaica, Grenada and Trinidad, s/he would be called a black Chinese. Simple and to the point.

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HungryGuy's avatar

If they’re born in China, then they’re a Chinese person…

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