By Vivian Po New America Media,
OAKLAND - Don't be surprised if you see Chinese characters appearing in the Oakland Post, because African American columnist with the Post Newspaper Group, Gregory K. Taylor, is trying to facilitate a cultural exchange between the Chinese community and the African American community through his writings on Chinese idioms. Taylor, a former police officer in Oakland, fell in love with the Chinese language and culture after quiting his job and going back to school.
To deepen his understanding of the Chinese culture, Taylor even spent two years living in Taiwan learning Chinese while teaching English. In 2006, Taylor graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Chinese.
Taylor said he felt deeply about the racial tensions happened earlier this year, he did not not understand why Blacks and Chinese can be friends in Taiwan but not in the Bay Area. Since then, he saw himself in the role as an ice breaker between the two groups. He began teaching Chinese to kids at his church and started writing about Chinese idioms and their meanings in his columns. T
aylor said, there is a real lack of communication between the two groups, Asian students and black students often sit away from each other in a classroom, even though they show interest of learning more from the other group. Taylor believes his work would help to merge those invisible walls.