Jamaican in China is a book that chronicles the adventures of entrepreneur, Walt Goodridge, on his two trips to Mainland China. Unlike a great deal of the media involving Black folks in China and Asia as a whole, it is an upbeat, positive read. Although his experiences might not be our own, it is certainly a book that is worth reading for Black men interested in travel or life in the country, and an indication that not everything has to be negative. Let us examine some of the interesting points that he makes:
Keep a Positive Attitude
Mr. Goodridge did not mention any negative occurrences in his book. I am sure that he could have found something negative to write about had he looked for it, but he didn’t look for it! While there is a glut of racism against Black people in the Far East and in this entire world, sometimes, we make the mistake of looking for negativity. It is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy when this negativity hits us.
We will likely face hardships based on our race no matter where we go, but constantly dwelling on the negatives without giving due attention to the positives will guarantee an unhappy existence. It is also a good way to lose friends and potential sex partners – take it from me!
Mr. Goodridge is a Nomadpreneur
Many of us looking to move to China are likely trying to land jobs teaching English. There is nothing wrong with this, but what allowed Mr. Goodridge to travel throughout the country whenever he pleased was his stream of income from his online businesses. Given the difficulties that we face getting jobs as compared to other races, and the fact that it is not as easy for us to find side jobs such as modeling or tutoring means that we should set up a side hustle, or a way to supplement our income.
This can be done online. Take a few moments out of your day from watching WorldStar, booty-shaking videos, or social commentary that doesn’t put money in your pocket, and check out some videos about writing eBooks, Web design, or other venues that you can get into with minimal expense and from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Living behind the Great Firewall may make this a bit more difficult, but that’s what VPNs are for.
Mr. Goodridge did not just fall off of the plane and end up in China; he had friends and connections due to his business. These connections helped him to find places to stay, save money, learn about different locations, and more. Connections have proven invaluable in my excursions to East Asia. If you do not have the means to meet Chinese people (or perhaps even laowai that have been to China), then you may want to give QQ Messenger a try.
Use Attention for Your Benefit
In The 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene discusses the importance of courting attention. Being Black in China is likely to garner lots of attention by default. Unfortunately, not all of this attention is going to be positive as it was in the case of Mr. Goodridge, but some of it will likely be neutral, at least. Not every stare is a stare of hostility. Some of it is indeed curiosity, and if the game is played correctly, you might be able to make a new connection, make a friend, or more. Play each scenario to your benefit if possible.
Jamaican in China is a compelling read with numerous life lessons therein, especially pertaining to the experience of a Black male in China. If you want to check it out, you can do so by clicking the image below.
Oh, and for those of you that are expecting self-antagonism, then stay tuned because that article is coming next week!
Edit: The “negative” post that I promised you can be found at “Coming Black to Asia” – Critique