Minorities Abroad: Additional Resources

Published: August 25, 2015

This site isn’t the only resource for minority students studying in Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe! Below is a collection of interesting and useful sites from around the web, featuring videos, interviews, and much more. (Thanks to the many folks on ADSEEES and SEELANGS who have shared them!) If you’d like to suggest an additional link, please don’t hesitate to contact Emily Wang.

Afro-Russians, a series by Slava Tynes.

  • Part One: When Did Africans Get to the Soviet Union?
  • Part Two: Many Africans Came to the Soviet Union During Turkish Rule
  • Part Three: Skin Color Creates No Barrier to Africans in the Soviet Union

There’s also a follow-up posted by Sepia at Pragmatic Obots Unite about Abkhazians of African descent.

The Association for Diversity in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian studies, a group affiliated with the Slavic Studies professional organization ASEEES, for students, teachers, and professionals in the Slavic field concerned with diversity in Slavic. (It was formerly known as STC, the Association for Students and Teachers of Color in Slavic Studies, but now encompasses LGBTQ issues as well.) The Facebook Page functions as an informal forum for sharing links and fielding questions.

Being Black In Russia, a blog post by African-American student Ernestine about her positive experiences visiting three Russian cities (including St. Petersburg) and reflecting on race relations in Russia and the United State.

Black Bread, a professional network of Black Russian-speakers, and its blog, “Afro-Russia,” about the history and experiences of the African diaspora in Russia.

“Black Girl in Ukraine,” a blog by African-American Harvard graduate student Kimberly St. Julian describing her experiences conducting research in Ukraine.

“Black in Eastern Europe,” a photoblog by African-American journalist and former Fulbrighter Terrell Starr. Starr has published a lot around the web: there’s also a podcast interview with him, “Black in Ukraine,” a video lecture, “Black Ukraine,” an article about his own experiences in Ukraine, and features on Black native Ukrainians (for example, this, this, and this).

“The Divine Auditor,” a personal essay by writer and Slavist Sarah Valentine of Northwestern University about her discovering her African-American heritage while earning a Ph.D. in the traditionally white field of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

“From Russia with Locs,” an extensive blog by African-American student Jacqueline Bailey-Ross with description her experiences studying abroad and conducting research as a Fulbright student in St. Petersburg, along with general rich discussion of Russia and the experiences of people of color there (including interviews!). Of particular interest is an essay in Russian about an African student in Kazan’, including a brief history of the African diaspora in the Soviet Union and Russia: “Под небом Африки моей: Опыт Африканского студента в Казани” (“Under the Sky of My Africa: The Experience of an African Student in Kazan’”). It also features the “James in Russia” series (also titled “Coming of Age in Russia: The Journey of a Black American from Texas in St. Petersburg”), detailing the experiences of a young English teacher.

FtM Perekhod (FtM Transition), a “general resource for Russian-speaking FtM transsexuals,” including a guestbook, forum, and personal writings.

Genderfree, a Russian-language forum for non-binary trans folks.

Kevin Moss, Professor of Russian at Middlebury College, has curated a couple of sites on gay culture in Russia and Eastern Europe: “Russian Gay Culture” and “East European Gay Culture.”

“My Life in Russia,” a video blog series from Russia Beyond the Headlines interviewing English-speaking expats living in Russia. It features several people of color.

“On the Moscow Metro and Being Gay,” an article by the distinguished Russian poet Dmitry Kuz’min. See also an interview in English with Kuz’min about gay rights in Russia.

“Race, Diversity, and Our Students in Russia,” a blog post by B. Amarilis Lugo De Fabritz of Howard University about her own experience as a person of color in Russia and sending her own students of color to study abroad.

“Sending Our Gay Students to Russia,” a blog post by Eliot Borenstein of NYU about potential issues faced by LGBTQ students studying abroad in Russia.

Trans Coalition in Post-Soviet Space, a Russian-language trans rights activist site featuring news, articles, and a forum.

Jennifer Wilson, an African American Slavist at the University of Pennsylvania, has blogged at NYU’s All the Russias about her experiences as a minority in Slavic and teaching African-American culture in Russia at RGGU. See “Is Slavic Ready for Minorities?” and “Teaching Race in Russia” (a multi-part series).

  • Part One: Dispatches from “The Harlem Renaissance”: From New York to Taskent
  • Part Two: From Harlem to the “Soviet South”
  • Part Three: Sartre, Jazz, and the Cossack Dance
  • Part Four: Some Conclusions

“Why White Eastern Europe Still Struggles with Colours,” an article by Michael Mariner, who describes his experiences as an African-American graduate student studying in Krakow, Poland.

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About the author

Emily Wang

Emily Wang is PhD student in the Slavic Languages and Literatures program at Princeton University. She is an editor of the Minorities Abroad Project of this site and her account will be used to post insights from multiple authors. This project is affiliated with the Association for Students and Teachers of Color in Slavic Study, a sub-group of ASEEES (the Assocation for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies). For more about her, see her site at Princeton.

Program attended: Challenge Grants: Funding for Study Abroad

View all posts by: Emily Wang