black in spain - book cover

Black In Spain

As in America, the topic of race in Spain is a complex one. Black In Spain tackles this complex subject with thorough analysis, rich insight and humor from the perspective of a black American woman living and teaching in Spain. In this series of essays, the author offers firsthand accounts of her experience navigating the intersection of race, culture and color in a foreign country, all while sorting through the challenges presented by expat life.

In each essay, the author invites the reader to experience intimate glimpses of real-life moments that shock, confuse or reveal culturally-specific nuances about race and racial identity. The result is a concise and first-of-its-kind comparison of black life in Spain versus the US.

Available April 4, 2019

in eBook and Paperback

Black in Spain - a book about race and racism in Spain from a black American expat's perspective

5 thoughts on “Black In Spain”

  1. I think this article was much needed for myself and as a spot on view of how I envision my time in Spain would be like if I reapply as an auxiliary again. I skipped the first time around to accept a job offer, but sometimes I consider reapplying for the program. Although I crave adventure, I am a bit wiser than I I first graduated college 4 years go. Plus I thought I might be too old to sign up by now.

    I went across Spain on vacation for two weeks and my experience in that short time was similar to yours. The stares, the fetishism, etc. It caused me to wonder if I had moved here would I be truly accepted. I have to be honest when I say that I now know how a certain ethnic group in America feels when we are not embracing them into or circles like my friends in college. I distinctly remember never Indians exchange students hanging out with Americans. That’s the one ethnicity I never saw very integrated into our society. I wondered would my experience be the same in Spain and that I truly would not gain “real” Spanish friends. I may still apply as a backup plan, but I’m not as strong on it these days because I’m real about my expectations. Im not looking forward to the isolation and bad dating. I only see the ango aux. women on blogs with a succesful dating life, and only 2 AA women. Anyway, I will keep reading your site, as I enjoy your point of view and especially from another non early 20s AA sista in the same category :p I don’t mean to leave a Debbie downer type of comment, just discussing my observations that could be totally inaccurate in my short visit and hours on blogs.

    1. Hey, Kayla –

      Glad you enjoyed the essay. I think my time here has also made me more aware of how other non-Americans must feel trying to become integrated into or accepted in American social circles.

      As for your sentiments about what your experience in Spain might be like – I guess I have to say it depends. Yes, I’ve found that it’s not easy making ‘real’ Spanish friends, but probably for the same reason that immigrants to the US may have a hard time making friends. People aren’t always that willing to go outside of their comfort zones to invite / accept someone into their already established social circles who may not understand the language and culture that well. That said, I have found and made good connections with other expats from all over the globe during my time in Spain. I think this is because we’re all ‘strangers in a strange land’, and are more open to new friendships/associations. I only ever felt isolated when I was placed in a teaching assignment in a small town, where there were very few expats. In medium to large cities, I’ve always been able to easily find kindred spirits, even if only for a short time. Despite the racial insensitivities that I’ve encountered in this country, I am still glad to have had this experience. It’s a beautiful country, and I’ve had the opportunity to experience and learn so much! These observations / issues with race make up a small part of an overall great experience.

      1. Everything you just said makes all the sense in the world to me. It’s just up to me whether I’m up to the experience then!

  2. In Spain some of the comments you hear are so shocking that they remind me of the sort of thing you d hear from a racist 1950s movie, but they are said with such ease as though the person doesn t know what they are sayin is offensive. While others are silly like why are you black or man I wish I could tan like you .

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