February 3 "coffee hour" presentation
On Wednesday, February 3, Dr. Wendy Thompson will present "Trade: Negotiating Money, Goods, and 'Foreignness' in the Experiences of African Traders in Contemporary Hong Kong and China" from 2:15-4:00 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]
In July of 2009, Guangzhou police raided the Tangqi Garment Mall, a shopping center predominately frequented by Nigerian traders. The raid led to the critical injury of at least one man who had either jumped or fallen from a building in an attempt to escape. While it wasn't the first time a police raid had targeted the Guangzhou Nigerian community--city police regularly stopped African men in public and searched them without their consent in an attempt to look for "foreigners" who had overstayed their visas and were in China illegally--this particular incident led to a protest against the police in which one- to two-hundred Nigerians gathered outside the Kuangquan Street station and stopped traffic for five hours. The protest would make national and world news as it was the first time in contemporary Chinese history that "foreigners" had staged anything like it publically.
Dr. Thompson's presentation is a preview of her post-protest findings during the three weeks she spent in Hong Kong and Mainland China in late November/early December of 2009. She will be showing a series of photographs and giving personal observations of contact with African men and women in Hong Kong as well as with a small community of Yoruba traders on the Mainland. Dr. Thompson sees this preliminary research as providing new insight to existing knowledge on African Diaspora, contemporary migration, and the impact of globalization on twenty-first century race relations in Asia.