Part 1

In 1997, Marketus Presswood was the only Black student in his language program in Beijing, China. His experience navigating race, culture, and identity between China and the U.S. shaped his current research into socio-cultural interactions between Africa, the African Diaspora and China in the twentieth century. Studying abroad in China is not just crucial for American national security, but an important way for young Americans and Chinese to see they have more in common than not. 

Part 2

In the early twentieth century, Black and African American musicians brought jazz to China via the ballrooms and music halls of Shanghai. Musical connections between Chinese and Americans flourished through personal interactions and left an indelible imprint on the global state of jazz and China’s own music history. 

In an interview recorded January 25, 2024, Spelman College Assistant Professor Marketus Presswood discusses the history of people-to-people relations between Chinese and American musicians, and the necessity of study abroad equity for underrepresented groups of young Americans.

About the speaker