Auntie Lydia, a low-wage Ghanaian cook working for a house of five Chinese in Accra, Ghana, fights to receive fair wages, payment on time, and fewer taxing hours. Auntie Lydia and her co-worker Henrietta stand their ground against their employers. Their strategy of defiance makes their Chinese employer respect them more and harm them less.
The Ghana Chinese Commodities Wholesale Town, once inhabited by many Chinese retailers, now houses mostly Ghanaians selling bulk goods like cloth and clothing.
The owner, Hui, of the Jia Hua grocery store speaks with customers after the morning rush.
Workers surf the web during a break at Rose's Restaurant.
A Chinese mother and daughter have owned and operated the Hunan Restaurant for over fifteen years, located in Osu in greater Accra. A TV in the restaurant plays Chinese soap operas while the two women take a break from plucking chickens and preparing the dinner.
Kwame Otu gets a hair cut at Men's Clipperz barbershop in Osu.
David Adjei works as the security guard for the house of Chinese telecommunications workers.
Tubs traditionally used by Ghanaians for washing laundry.
Auntie Lydia works six days a week; taking three small buses from home everyday, she leaves at 7 am and does not get back until 10 pm.
Auntie Lydia sets the table for her Chinese employers who come home from work to eat a traditional Chinese lunch. She has difficulty working with a hired Chinese cook who does not speak any English. The language barrier creates a frustrating work environment; a mutual lack of cultural understanding generates distrust and anger.
After his lunch break and mid afternoon nap, Fang "Oliver" Ziduo gets driven back to his workplace by his Ghanaian driver.
Africans conducting business in Guangzhou, China often stay for 6 months to a year, making it necessary to find long term living arrangements. As in Ghana, a limited supply of electricity makes clothes dryers a luxury; residents hang the wash outside of their apartments to dry.
Uksachi "Danny" Bass of The Gambia, studies Mandarin at Guangdong University of Technology.
Alide and Yankuba, two Gambians, saved enough money to leave their country in search of jobs in China, hoping to support their family members who are farmers. "The Chinese do not offer low-wage jobs to blacks," said Yankuba. Living on a crock-pot stew of bread, sugar, and water, the two unemployed brothers struggle to survive on the little money their parents are able to send them. In need of an escape, the brothers visit another Gambian, their friend Danny
Alide and Yankuba take the bus for over an hour to the university. While riding on public transportation, Chinese glare, refusing to sit next to them on the subway or bus. The two brothers admit that while Xiao Bei is cramped and dirty, it offers somewhere for Africans to escape persistent reminders that they are black outsiders in China.
The Chinese adapt to the needs and wants of the African customer base, selling religious paraphernalia.
The stifling hot weather of southern China deters people from the Xiao Bei market until late into the evening. Once the temperature cools, Chinese vendors come out to sell goods to Africans. Chinese police stand guard, checking African visas while video cameras placed throughout the area keep watch.
Xiao Bei is lived in and shared by Chinese and Africans.
Chanceline, Joyce, and Shadai, from Angola bargain with a Chinese merchant.
Danny supplied the food for the single daily meal shared by the group of four. Yankuba prepares the dish consisting of hot dog, rice, and potatoes.
Three women, Chanceline, Joyce, and Shadai, from Angola window shop in the Xiao Bei market.
John Bass studies in China through the sponsorship of Danny's father. After taking their finals, the two will go back to The Gambia.