Contact & Collaboration

In this interactive page, you will find historically significant Black-Asian interactions. Each event builds on each other to create continuous possibilities for a sustainable relationship.

Please click on either marker to see a timeline of events.

  • 618-907

    Black people in Asia

    As early as the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Black people from Africa were brought to China as the lowest scale in the social hierarchy. The term Negrito was first applied by Spanish sailors in the 16th century after encounters with such people during early forays into the region. The term Kunlun (equivalent of Negrito) slaves appeared in early Chinese poetry. “Orang Asli, the First People” also were in various parts of Southeast Asia and the Asian Pacific Island of Papua New Guinea

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  • 1868-1912

    Western Racial Ideology in Asia

    During the Meiji era (1868–1912), scientific racism was absorbed in Japan. Its modernization process incorporated the western notion of racial hierarchy

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  • 1899-1902

    African American soldiers in Asia

    African American soldiers, like David Fagen, became disillusioned with the US occupation of the Philippines, especially after hearing the use of the N-word by the White soldiers in referring to the Filipinos. Local Filipinos responded overwhelmingly.

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  • 1955

    Third-World Alliance

    In 1955, a significant meeting of the postcolonial era in which 29 state-delegations from Africa and Asia convened in Bandung, Indonesia. Since then, China started its modern relationship with Africa. For example, scholarships to study in China were offered in the early 1960s. In the 1980s, students arrived from Africa to learn the language and complete degrees in Mandarin. Even though the 1988 riots against African students in Nanjing and elsewhere hindered these exchanges, the number of Africans continued to grow in China

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  • 1955 - 1975

    Black Soldiers Questioned Vietnam War

    During the Vietnam war, many Black soldiers spoke up against the brutal war and racism at home in the United States.

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  • 2020s

    Fostering Continuous Solidarity

    In 2020, protests to support the Black Lives Matter movements multiple countries in Asia.

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  • 1868-1897

    The 14th amendment and its impacts

    1868: Black activists fought to establish the 14th amendment to recognize all individuals born to or naturalized in the United States to be citizens.1869: American abolitionist Frederick Douglass denounced the Chinese Exclusion Act in his “composite Nation” Speech. 1897: The U.S. Supreme Court, based on the 14th amendment, favored Wong Kim Ark’s case and recognized birthright citizenship (jus soli)

  • 1890s

    Mutual Influence from Leaders

    Since the 1890s, freedom fighters from Asia and Black America have been learning from each other. Mohandas Gandhi gained insights from the Abolitionist and Booker T. Washington. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was directly influenced by Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence. These mutual influences continued in aspects of philosophic, religious and scientific practices among their followers.

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  • 1909

    Filipino American Civil Rights Activist

    Historical Filipino-African American families such as Rufina Clemente Jenkins and Buffalo Soldier Sgt. Francis Jenkins, the first Filipino American family to settle in Seattle in 1909. Their descendants fought alongside with African American civil rights activists.

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  • 1920s - 1930s

    Asian Journalist in Black Press

    During the 1920s-1930s, Hucheshwar Gurusidha Mudgal reporter and acting managing editor for The Daily Negro Times and the Negro World by Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey (in New York)

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  • Co-Nurturing Leadership

    Since the 1950s, many Asian Americans have worked with Black American civil rights activists to fight for freedom for all. Here are a few examples: Yuri Kochiyama in Berkeley/Oakland, Grace Lee Boggs in Detroit, Kiyoshi Kuromiya and Rev. Mineo Katagiri, who also established Asian Coalition for Equality striving for multiracial coalition in 1969.

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  • African Americans’ Leadership & Civil Rights

    Civil Rights movements protected equal rights of all races, including immigrants in the United States. It further paved the road of the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act that brought in immigrants from Asia. The number of immigrants from various Asian nations grew from 7.3 million in the 1970s to 14.1 million in 2020, a 29-fold increase since the 1960s.

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  • 1966

    Leaders Working for Peace

    In 1966, Dr. King and Thích Nhất Hạnh met in Chicago. Both religious leaders dedicated their lives advocating for a society that would treat human beings as people instead of objects.

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  • 1967

    Black Leaders Against Vietnam War

    Not only African American soldiers, Black leaders used their platforms to speak about the unjust war in Vietnam. In 1967, Dr. Martin L. King gave the “Beyond Vietnam” speech. In 1969 African American journalist Wallace Terry II with TIME interviewed almost 400 Black soldiers and more than half believed that US racism should have been their fight, not their engagements in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

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  • 1967 - 1971

    Collaboration for Political Change

    Japanese and African Americans joined forces to repeal The Emergency Detention Act that could lead to presidential power to establish concentration camps.

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  • 1968 - 1969

    Multiracial Coalition Building

    In 1968/1969 Young people in their early 20s took initiatives and built multiracial coalitions in California that helped create Ethnic studies where racial/ethnic minorities could learn about their histories and contributions to the United States.

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  • 1982

    Rev. Jesse Jackson and Anti-Asian Hate

    In 1982, Chinese American Vincent Chin was brutally murdered. When the perpetrators of this hate crime went unpunished, Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Lily Chin, Vincent’s mother to show support. When the Anti-Asian hate increased expeditiously during the Covid-19 pandemic, Rev. Jesse Jackson continued showing his support for Asian Americans.

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  • 1986 - 1992

    Black-Asian Reconciliation

    In 1986, the Black Korean Alliance consisted of 20 African Americans and Korean Americans convinced to build better relationships through dialogue. After Rodney King was severely beaten, a Korean store owner, Soon Ja Du accused Latasha Harlins, a young Black American woman for stealing and fatally shot her. After Du’s sentencing and the police officers who beat Rodney King were acquitted in 1992, anger toward the continuous unjust treatment of Black people’s lives erupted into a violent conflict in L.A. In 1992, the Black Korean Alliance was dissolved.

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  • 2010s

    Further Deepening Solidarity

    Black Lives Matter movements and Anti-Asian Hate Awareness generated more mutual support for solidarity between these two communities.

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Additional Resources

Below are additional resources on Black-Asian relations
A different Asian American Timeline
Asian Americans and African Americans: Points of Unity and Discord
Asian Americans for Black Lives
Asian American tool Kit
Black History Month
Cross Cultural Solidarity