FexBlack Vietnam creates a safe space and community for black women living abroad in Southeast Asia.
It’s a Facebook-based community where women of color, especially black women, can share their resources and experiences. The aim of the group is to unite black expats and black women traveling in Vietnam.
“There is a large community of black expatriates here in Saigon, but there are questions that women have specifically with regards to resources such as where to buy certain products or how to get their hair done,” group administrator Crystal Osuji told Travel Noire. “This is a group where the concerns and issues of black women are validated.”
Osuji has lived in Vietnam for seven years. She lives there with her partner and teaches english. She says she was approached by two women to serve as a director of FexBlack and agreed because she understands the importance of building community – especially in a country that has been placed under strict lockdown restrictions following the ongoing pandemic.
“When we had our very long confinement, it was difficult for everyone,” recalls Osuji. “I remember you couldn’t leave the house at all. We had tickets to go to the grocery store within a certain time limit about twice a week.
Osuji says like many other places, a lot has been lost during the pandemic. Many expats have left Vietnam, but as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the group is rebuilding. Black expats are coming back and new people are moving in.
“I really want to build more community especially where I am located in Saigon. It’s the biggest city in Vietnam and I don’t want people to feel alone or everyone to do what they want,” she adds. “We want people to come to the group curious and ready to ask their questions. We don’t want people to be afraid to ask anything because the band members have a lot of knowledge about different things.
Related: The Black Expat: Extended Holidays to Life in Vietnam