African-American Youths See the True China Campus News


The Great Wall is a must for any group visitto China. The group from Clark Atlanta University takes a picture on the Great Wall on Friday.

A group of African-American students from Clark Atlanta University on a cultural communications trip to China enjoyed a day of fun with students from Beijing Foreign Studies University on Saturday.

More than 200 students from both sides met, making it the largest gathering of its kind between Chinese and African-American students in recent years, said Chen Yi, a project director with the China-United States Exchange Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Beijing and Hong Kong that supports the program.


On May 21, more than 200 students from Beijing Foreign Students University and Clark Atlanta University have fun in a color-run, which means people throw washable colorful paint on each other while running. 

"We want to welcome more African-Americans to explore China, as they are one of the minorities in the US, and usually know little about our country," said Deng Weixian, a project coordinator with the foundation.

During the two-week trip in China, mainly in Beijing and Shanghai, which began May 15, the African-American students are attending seminars and activities with cultural, economic and political themes.


Maiya Byrd, a junior majoring in massmedia art, introduces herself at the opening ceremony on May 15.

For most of the 20 African American students on the trip, it's their first visit to China.

On Saturday, they played basketball, sang and played instruments, had fun in a color run, which means people throw washable colorful paint on each other while running.


This is the first glance of Beijingthe Clark Atlanta students saw when they arrived at the Beijing airport on May 15. 

"With the (interpersonal) communication, they get to know that what they read in reports back in the US about China are not necessarily true," said Gwen Wade, the group leader of the 2016 Clark Atlanta Student Leaders Study Mission to China.

She added that visiting and communicating face to face is the best way for American students to learn about China.


The African-American students watch a live lion dance for the first time on Saturday. 

The African-American students represent nearly 10 different majors, including international relations, mass media, biology and art. The students said what impressed them most is the personality of Chinese people.

"I knew Chinese were all kind, but I didn't expect them to be so warm. We've become like family in just the past seven days," said Darrell Fambro, a junior majoring in computer science.


Gwen Wade, group leader of the 2016 Clark Atlanta Student Leaders Study Mission to China, can't stop playing with the dragon after a dragon dance on Saturday. 

Fambro said it was impressive to see that Chinese students usually know what they want and aim for it when they go to school, which is quite different from students in the US.

"It's too short at time to learn about everything, but what we've got to know so far are all impressive enough, which you will never know without coming," to China, Fambro said.


Students from Clark Atlanta University and BFSU sing a song together on Saturday.


Chen Ximeng, a graduate student at BFSU says everyone's having fun communicating and playing with the American students. 

 [Photos by Yan Dongjie/]