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."
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."