Teachers of Color Overseas

I can remember vividly that Korean kids would look at me and point as if I was a monkey in a cage. Even more, one story I can recollect was when I showed up for a tutoring session for a elementary school kid. The mother told me that I was a liar, I was not American, and that she wanted a “real” American” to teach her children. I assumed that this “real American” she wanted was “white” or “Korean American” or at least not Black.

With all the anti black sentiment I faced, I also face well intentioned comments such as “Johnnie before you, I thought all black people were bad, but now you have changed my mind.” This type of comment I was uneasy about because it did two things: It coined me a token by deeming me the one black person who is able to change the perspective of a majority group. In this case it was a Korean majority. But also, these comments made¬†brought them closer to learning about a black person’s/people language, pain, history, and culture.

Ultimately we need more diverse teachers in international schools, in study abroad, in international exchange programs to refocus the narratives of diverse people. Also, we need for this to become sustainable. Racism, the complex that a group or individual apart of a group is inferior will never stop, but institutionalized racism should and can be combated through more education that protest against such foolery.

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