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Afrophobia, Afroscepticism, or Anti-African sentiment is a perceived or actual prejudice, hostility, discrimination, or racism towards people and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora.
Prejudice against Africans and people of African descent has a long history, dating back to the Atlantic slave trade. In the United States, it was manifested in the form of Jim Crow laws and segregated housing, schools, and public facilities. In South Africa, it was manifested in the form of the apartheid system.
In recent years, there has been a rise in Afrophobic hate speech and violence in Europe and the United States. This has been attributed to a number of factors, including the growth of the African diaspora in these regions, the increase in refugees and migrants from Africa, and the rise of far-right and populist political parties.
In October 2017, the United Nations General Assembly held a high-level meeting on combating Afrophobia, with a view to adopting a resolution to address the issue.
Primarily a cultural phenomenon, Afrophobia pertains to the various traditions and peoples of Africa, irrespective of racial origin. As such, Afrophobia is distinct from the historical racial phenomenon of negrophobia, which is specifically based on contempt for negro peoples. The opposite of Afrophobia is Afrophilia, which is a love for all things pertaining to Africa.
It has been observed that writing and terminology about racism, including about Afrophobia, has been somewhat centered on the US. In 2016, "Afrophobia" has been used as a term for racism against darker-skinned persons in China. In such usage, that is an inexact term because the racism is directed against darker-skinned persons from anywhere, without regard to any connection to Africa. Conversely, Chinese views for lighter-than-average skin are more positive, as is reflected in advertising.
The terms "Afrophobia" and "Afroscepticism" are similar to Europhobia and Euroscepticism and can refer to three different ideas:
To overcome any perceived "Afrophobia", writer Langston Hughes suggested that European Americans must achieve peace of mind and accommodate the uninhibited emotionality of African Americans. Author James Baldwin similarly recommended that White Americans could quash any "Afrophobia" on their part by getting in touch with their repressed feelings, empathizing to overcome their "emotionally stunted" lives, and thereby overcome any dislike or fear of African Americans.
In 2016, Tess Asplund made a viral protest against Neo-Nazism as part of her activism against Afrophobia.
Some Afrophobic sentiments are based on the belief that Africans are unsophisticated. Such perceptions include the belief that Africans lack a history of civilization, and visual imagery of such stereotypes perpetuate the notion that Africans still live in mud huts and carry spears, along with other notions that indicate their primitiveness.
Afrophobia in academia may also occur through by oversight with regards to lacking deconstruction in mediums such as African art forms, omitting historical African polities in world cartography, or promoting a eurocentric viewpoint by ignoring historic African contributions to world civilization.