About Baye

Baye was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He discovered his talent for writing in High School quite by accident when he wrote a movie script and received an award. He learned in University that that HS experience was not a fluke, and began to take writing seriously, eventually majoring in English and Communications. Before departing for Japan in 2004, Baye had written for a local newspaper and completed a novel.

 

Upon arriving in Japan, McNeil began teaching and later began his blog, "Loco in Yokohama" which covered life in Japan from a Black New Yorker's perspective. The blog grew steadily in popularity until a single series brought it and Baye to the attention of readers worldwide. It was a 42-part open discussion of race issues, particularly in the US and Japan. This series was called, "Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist," and the reception this series received was so tremendous that Baye expanded it into the critically acclaimed book of the same name.

The book was also a big hit, a bestseller, chosen by ExpatFinder as a Top 5 Expat Book and made book critic Kam Williams' list of the Top 10 books by an African American in 2012.

 

In 2013, Baye released his second book, "Loco in Yokohama," a collection of stories and anecdotes based on the goings-on at two Yokohama public schools, covering such hot-button topics as bullying in Japanese schools (several suicides have resulted in recent years), parenting multi-racial children, and dealing with the plague of perverts that prey on HS and JHS girls on Japanese trains. As of June 2014, Baye was hired as a columnist for The Japan Times, the most widely-read English language newspaper in Japan. His column, "Black Eye", (where he focuses on the experiences of people of African descent living in Japan) has built a broad and growing readership internationally.

 

In 2015, Baye began his work as an activist is Japan by spearheading a successful protest to prevent the airing of a blackface minstrel show on Japanese TV.  In 2017-18, a popular Japanese TV comedy show had a japanese comedian impersonate Eddie Murphy in Blackface, and Baye set off a global discussion and more importantly a national public discourse in Japan about the appropriateness of Blackface. This incident brought Baye's activism in Japan to international attention, quoted in the NY Times, BBC, Washington Post, Reuters and AP. As a result, Baye has been invited by major media conglomerates in japan to talk about diversity and inclusivity in Japanese media.

 

In 2019, Baye's criticism of a major Japanese food company's "whitewashing" of tennis star Naomi Osaka also garnered global attention and firmly established Baye bona fides as a key influencer in Japanese media as it pertains to issues of race, diversity and inclusiveness. He has since written Op-Eds for Washington Post and other major publications, and was featured in The NY Times Race/Related newsletter.

 

Baye also lectures at Universities, including the Waseda University in Tokyo, on topics such as the biracial experience in Japan, and the problems associated with stereotyping and presumptions. He does so with the hope of raising awareness of issues critical to Japan's future, the country he has come to love and calls home.

 

For more info you can contact Baye using the form below:

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