TV Personality Sam Okyere was recently on JTBC‘s Talking Street, where he shared a personal story of facing discrimination in South Korea with the crowd.
Before becoming a regular on JTBC’s Non-Summit, Sam was a graduate student in Korea from Ghana. While on Talking Street he was asked what the hardest part about living in Korea was. Sam relayed that it was hardest for him when he was in school because he didn’t know anyone and was lonely.
“I was really lacking in Korean then. We had to work with others on assignments, but since I didn’t have any friends I was so lonely and upset.”- Sam Okyere
He then went on to talk about how he joined the “black music club” in school and how he met his first friend there and overcame that hardship.
The most powerful part came on another instance where he spoke about a moment that really hurt him. He begins the story lightheartedly as he recounts how when he first came to Korea from Africa, people would ask him if his family raised lions. Although Sam took that lightly and joked around, he said that it showed him how little Koreans actually knew about black people and Africa.
He then describes a moment when he took the subway and an elder Korean lady prevented him from sitting down.
“She stretched out her legs to stop me from sitting. She said what is a black bastard doing in Korea. She told me to go back to my country. So directly, she was showing discrimination. Discrimination to that extent? …But the most hurtful thing in the midst of it all, were the Korean people there. The way they said nothing and just watched really hurt me.” – Sam Okyere
As Sam told his story, the people listening to him were all teary eyed and even the hosts started apologizing for the fact that he experienced that. The hosts felt embarrassed after hearing Sam say that people did not speak up and protect him from this type of discrimination.
You can watch the video here: