19 September 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Talking About THIS Japan???

Talking About <em>THIS</em> Japan???

Just wanted to take a moment out to say thank you all for your support of this little enterprise of mine known as Black Eye. When I started Black Eye back in 2014, I only knew one thing for certain: Our stories — the stories of people of African descent living here in Japan — […]

17 September 2017 ~ Comments Off on A Japanese Professor Explains Why it’s Essential that Japanese Learn the History of Racism in America

A Japanese Professor Explains Why it’s Essential that Japanese Learn the History of Racism in America

A Japanese Professor Explains Why it’s Essential that Japanese Learn the History of Racism in America

This month’s #BlackEye, for the first time in its 3-year run, speaks with a Japanese professor, Dr. Keiko Shirakawa! As I explained in the previous column, we’re in the midst of a series on teaching “blackness” in Japan. Here in Japan, this of course will be the responsibility of predominantly Japanese professors. So, I’m using […]

20 August 2017 ~ Comments Off on Are Blacks and Japanese Still Allies? Understanding “Blackness” in Japan

Are Blacks and Japanese Still Allies? Understanding “Blackness” in Japan

Are Blacks and Japanese Still Allies? Understanding “Blackness” in Japan

Reginald Kearney, author of the book: 20世紀の日本人―アメリカ黒人の日本人観 1900‐1945 ‘Afro-American Views of the Japanese: 1900-1945,’ says an understanding of U.S. history is incomplete without an understanding of black history

23 July 2017 ~ Comments Off on Who’s Teaching the History and Diversity of “Blackness” in Japan?

Who’s Teaching the History and Diversity of “Blackness” in Japan?

Who’s Teaching the History and Diversity of “Blackness” in Japan?

If your experience is similar to mine, then you’ve heard (from both Japanese and others, as well) “we don’t know anything about black people” as a rationalization for all kinds of foolishness, offensive statements and behaviors, to the point of normalizing that statement. Maybe you’ve even heard yourself saying it to others, or worse, to yourself! So, it’s clear that unless this is addressed the situation will worsen because, despite the overuse of that statement, it’s clear to anyone who lives here that a contradiction exists!

18 June 2017 ~ 1 Comment

Is Japan Really a Land of Opportunity?

Is Japan Really a Land of Opportunity?

The latest #BlackEye is up and atcha! This month’s piece tackles the question of opportunity in Japan, and how viewing this country as such (or not) might just be a matter of where you’re coming from…literally and figuratively. Here’s an excerpt: In my time here I’ve met and spoken intimately with my fair share of non-Japanese Westerners. […]

21 May 2017 ~ Comments Off on Maintaining Mental Health in Japan

Maintaining Mental Health in Japan

Maintaining Mental Health in Japan

…is not easy but there’s no need to suffer in silence and isolation. Sometimes you just need someone to listen, who gets it. There are services available here in Japan for people who might just need a mind trained to listen. And #BlackEye has spoken with a couple of these mental health and wellness professionals […]

16 April 2017 ~ 1 Comment

Congolese Architect Builds More than Just Buildings in Japan

Congolese Architect Builds More than Just Buildings in Japan

Growing up in New York, you tend to turn a blind eye on much it has to offer. Native New Yorkers generally leave all that gawking, oohing and ahhing to the tourists. Celebrities might get a nod…maybe. Museums get visited on school field trips. Broadway plays? Please. Only went to the World Trade Center on […]

23 March 2017 ~ 1 Comment

How Do You Say ‘Dementor’ in Japanese?

How Do You Say ‘Dementor’ in Japanese?

Me: Sounds like you’ve got Dementors in your office.
Student: De…nani? (what?)
Me: Dementors…I don’t know how y’all say it in Japanese, but remember in the Harry Potter movies? They were these black shadowy creatures that fly around and suck the joy and happiness out of any space they inhabit…and eventually they suck it out of you!

19 March 2017 ~ Comments Off on Black Women in Japan are Winning!!

Black Women in Japan are Winning!!

Black Women in Japan are Winning!!

“I was feeling kinda frustrated,” says Avril Haye Matsui, co-founder of BWIJ, addressing how and why the group came into being. “I didn’t feel like black women were being represented well. There were people writing books about ‘Western’ women in Japan but none of these women were women like me. It was like we didn’t really exist.”

13 March 2017 ~ 1 Comment

Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect

For the briefest of moments I imagined myself as the kind of person who could extend a finger and the butterfly, sensing my, I don’t know, my inner Snow White, purity of heart and utter inability to harm another of the Creator’s creatures, especially one as beautiful and guileless and harmless as a butterfly,