FexBlack Vietnam is creating a safe space and community for Black women living abroad in Southeast Asia.
It’s a community founded on Facebook where women of color, specifically Black women, can share their resources and experiences. The purpose of the group is to unite Black female expats and Black women traveling to Vietnam.
“There’s a large community of Black expats here in Saigon, but there are questions women have specifically when it comes to resources such as where to buy certain products or about getting your hair done,” the group’s administrator Crystal Osuji, tells Travel Noire. “This is a group where Black women’s concerns and questions are validated.”
Osuji has been living in Vietnam for seven years. There she lives with her partner and teaches English. She says she was approached by two women to serve as the administrator of FexBlack and agreed because she understands the importance of establishing a community – especially in a country that was placed under strict lockdown restrictions as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
“When we had our really long lockdown, it was tough for everyone,” Osuji recalls. “I remember you couldn’t leave the house at all. We had tickets to go to the grocery store within a certain timeframe about twice a week.”
Osuji says like many other places, a lot was lost during the pandemic. Many expats left Vietnam, but as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the group is rebuilding. Black expats are returning and new people are moving in.
“I really want to build more community, especially where I’m located in Saigon. This is Vietnam’s largest city and I don’t want people to feel alone or like everyone is doing their own thing,” she adds. “We want people to come to the group curious and ready to put their questions out there. We don’t want people to be afraid to ask anything because people in the group have a lot of knowledge on different things.”