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Sam Okyere opens up about the racism he faced in Korea + his nickname 'Black Hyung'

By yckim124   19 days ago   242,932   12,435   709
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Entertainer Sam Okyere shared about life in South Korea as a black man during the recording for the talk show 'As You Say'.


Sam Okyere first said, "The Korean word that I loved the most since I started learning Korean after coming to South Korea in 2009 was 'Woori' (meaning 'We'). But I wonder if 'woori' applies to someone like me of color."


He then opened up about the racism he faced, saying, "When I tell people that I'm from Africa, I get a lot of startling questions like, 'Do you grow a lion at your house?' I get it so often that now I just respond by saying that my father has two lions. That's how much Koreans are unknowledgeable about Black people and Africa."


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Another racist incident occurred inside a subway, says Sam. He explained, "I tried to sit in an empty seat and an ahjumma (middle-aged woman) took the seat, outrightly discriminating against me by saying, 'What is a black thing doing here in Korea? Go back to your country'. What hurt more was that the other Korean people just sat there and watched. It made me wonder if Koreans just watch foreigners without helping them in difficult situations." 


Sam Okyere also expressed discomfort at the common nickname he is called by. He said, "Often, people in Korea call me 'Black Hyung'. I want people to call me Okyere hyung comfortably, or Okyere dongsaeng, or just Okyere without referring to my skin color."




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    bapeal 14 days ago

    A lot of people are missing the point. Yes anti-black, racism, and discrimination is global but he is talking specifically about his experiences in Korea and just how ignorant Koreans are about black people and Africa due to the lack of education. He is stating that he hopes he will be treated like a human being and that people will stop basing their actions towards him on the color of his skin.

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    bapeal 14 days ago

    He also is just pointing out that he's observed the bystander effect and wonders if it was just his incident or if it tends to apply to all foreigners.

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    xoxo_shawol94 14 days ago

    In korea, money rules all. even if yr black but rich as hell people will bow down to you thats just how plastic it is in korea, sure its changing but still not enough effort is put in. But still every country has shit, this is korea's shit my country has its own political shit ^^

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    Lizette_ostojic 15 days ago

    To start with, Korea needs to teach at schools, how rude and disrespectful is to do that. Ethics, equality, and morals. Let's start educating them.

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    pinkrody 16 days ago

    It's not like people just sit there and watch a foreigner get treatment like this, I think it's probably those who were around are all younger than that middle age woman..... you know in Korean they have this age thing....

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    Rue_Y 17 days ago

    I have seen children of fair skin throw stones and sticks at an asian child because he was not "opening his eyes" There are countless videos on youtube of incidents all around the world similar to this one where a person throws unjustified insults at another because of the difference in ethnicity. Believe it or not, every single country around the world is like that, not just in SK.

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    MsArchetype 17 days ago

    Mm....he fine as heck♥♥♥

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    DC_SK_KPKD_C 17 days ago

    Awww, the pictures that Yunho of TVXQ took in Ghana, didn't give a better explanation either. I think Koreans need to be educated about present Africa(Ghana). its a shame, I'm Ghanaian and I really like S. Koreans and S. Korea. Sam is really handsome though.Fighting!!!!!!

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    Endlessly 18 days ago

    An article about Sam... I had to comment. What a nice picture too !! What he's accomplishing there is absolutely amazing, he sure had suffered a lot. Unfortunately, ignorance is everywhere but deliberately insulting someone because that person is from another culture is worst than ignorance. Let's just say there is a thing called karma. Cultural differences is a what makes this planet interesting. We are all the same in different ways. I am mad when I read stories like this....they are crazy people everywhereWish you the best of the best, never let their words put you down and keep showing that great smile of yours. Let your sun shine !! #Ghana

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    prettychristinna 18 days ago

    Just imagine a white man in Africa. Is the same thing

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    shineesylvia prettychristinna 18 days ago

    Honestly I dont think it is the same because the Europeans have colonized Africa so the Africans have probably been around white people for a while....but again its just what I think

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    Rock30815 prettychristinna 18 days ago

    "That's how much Koreans are unknowledgeable about Black people and Africa." ... I think we can add you to the people he's talking about. Clearly you've never heard of a little country called South Africa.

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    SeoHaee_Exo prettychristinna 18 days ago

    No it's not the same I am from Africa actually I am from Ghana the same country as Sam and we aren't really racist to white or any colour person in Ghana. Instead in Ghana they tend to be really fascinated with them they will ask you questions about where you came from then get to know you. Then they will eventually become friends with you

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    cjh_forever prettychristinna 18 days ago

    um. white people live in Africa. try again.

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    kellykii prettychristinna 18 days ago

    i was born and raised in south africa and never personally experienced racism towards me, it does happen (both ways) doesnt mean its ok for it to happen in korea

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    lovelyArmy24 prettychristinna 15 days ago

    Actually, it's not. The white people in Africa actually get paid more than Black people. This is why hunger is more prominent in Africa because all the money only goes to the portion of the people instead of all.

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    genjerleigh 18 days ago

    There are several things going on but all being put under the racism umbrella.  Just because it makes him uncomfortable doesn't mean the person has racist intent or feelings.  Like calling him Black Hyung and even black face - they aren't used to having a lot of foreigners let alone black people, they didn't grow up knowing black face is offensive to black ppl.  Certainly these things need to change but it doesn't necessarily indicate its born out of racism.  The other things mentioned are racism.  Being in an extreme minority in Korea its up to him to correct ppl and say 'please don't call me black hyung' etc

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    Rock30815 genjerleigh 18 days ago

    You basically summed up what he was trying to say, but with more excuses for the ignorant.

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    AfricanQueen genjerleigh 18 days ago

    ''Being in an extreme minority in Korea its up to him to correct ppl and say 'please don't call me black hyung' etc'' Words cant describe what I just felt after reading such a statement.

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    ihavemyownkey AfricanQueen 18 days ago

    Exactly. As I just commented above. If you're going to call him hyung, leave it there. Don't diminish him to just a skin color. He's more than that. We all are.

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    lovelyArmy24 genjerleigh 15 days ago

    You don't have to have racist or intent feelings. Racism is not a feeling. You say something racist without meaning to. I'm sure that he said he never corrected him on it, it's just the fact that people call him black hyung is a problem. Just because you're not expose to diversity doesn't mean the things that you say aren't racist.

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    xoxo_shawol94 lovelyArmy24 4 days ago

    true, U don't need diversity to not hurt others feelings just treat him as a regular person is fine, and i think that's what he wants

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