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Change in Guangzhou’s African Diaspora Community

April 11th will mark the one-year anniversary of what’s become known as “the Guangzhou Incident” when dozens, possibly hundreds of African residents in the southern Chinese city were evicted from their homes and hotels. Chinese officials denied that Black and African residents were singled out as part of a broader crackdown to enforce stringent COVID-19 health regulations, but much of the rest of the world didn’t buy it after they saw countless social videos depicting blatant maltreatment.

Although many people today associate Guangzhou with what happened last April, the fact is that the African diaspora community there had been under intense pressure for years. Tougher Chinese immigration laws, higher livings costs, and new zoning ordinances all made life increasingly difficult for African transnational migrants — especially those whose immigration status wasn’t always fully legal. And this was BEFORE the pandemic.

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