Black People in Asian Pop Culture

Asian pop culture is widely fascinating to the Western World. When in  comes to K-pop, J-pop, K and J Dramas, Cosplay, etc. there is a  large group of fans and participants. Asian Pop Culture is loved by many because of it’s various perspectives and influences. Asian Pop Culture takes aspect of other culture to increase their fandom, in particularly black culture. So when it comes to famous Asian idols known by the west i.e CL, Big Bang, BTS, SHInee, AK-69, Killer Whales, Kohh etc. many people accept them wearing grills, in baggy clothing, braided hair, a ton of jewelry etc, but it is not quite the same vice versa.

Here we can refer back to the idea of Agencies  in class we learned that: Human agency is the concept that each human individual within a culture has the ability to determine and choose by free will his/her actions, beliefs, etc. This contrasts the idea that we are completely governed by either nature or environmental factors (like culture) because we possess these innate capacity to think for ourselves.

So being Black and Asian–specifically Japanese and Korean– have different cultural agencies and the world perceives their capacity of fluidity at different levels.

Because our culture gives Black people a small agency the idea of them being/doing more than what is stereotypical accepted by them is hard to understand while for people under the Asian category have a different perception in the eyes of other people, so their agency is greater in behavior. I will further explain this in my examples.

Black people’s participation are not recognized in the Asian culture. When it comes anime characters everyone is white and when there seems to look like there is a black character it’s actually a person  who is tanned. So when Black fans want to cosplay they don’t feel like they fit profile of the character they are preforming to look. The stigma of not having a representative person in your favorite show hits hard when you don’t fit what you imagine them as. Its like there is this default look of Asian Pop Culture that is pale skin and the world cant fully imagine an African American as Sailor Moon, speaking Korean, knowing anything outside of American.

Besides these unsatisfactory view of Black people in Asian Pop Culture there are people who defy the social norms. There is a girl group called Coco Avenue which the first all black Korean girl pop group. Check out their Videos

Meet CocoAvenue: The World’s First All Black K-Pop Group

Many Black people still cosplay and look amazing giving other to love their melanin. Here are two picture taken by me in 2016 Anime Boston.(sorry for the blurs)

There are even a movements like Black Nerds Matter! They involve topics on Asian Culture as well as other things. Check it out too:

As well as a Black Girl Nerds:

Agency can be dependent on the cultural standings of a group of people, but if you factor in race to the equation the agency has this predetermined appeal that limits people and who they really are.


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