Primarily a cultural phenomenon, it pertains to the various traditions and peoples of Africa, irrespective of racial origin. As such, Afrophobia is distinct from the historical racial phenomenon negrophobia, which is a contempt for negro peoples specifically. The opposite of Afrophobia is Afrophilia, which is a love for all things pertaining to Africa.
It has been observed that writing and terminology about racism, including about Afrophobia has been somewhat U.S.-centric. In 2016, Afrophobia has been used as a term for racism against darker-skinned persons in China. In such usage Afrophobia is an inexact term, because the racism is directed against darker-skinned persons from anywhere, without regard to any connection to Africa. Conversely, Chinese views for lighter-than-average skin are more positive, as reflected in advertising.
To overcome any perceived "Afrophobia", writer Langston Hughes suggested that European Americans must achieve peace of mind and accommodate the uninhibited emotionality of African Americans. Author James Baldwin similarly recommended that White Americans could quash any "Afrophobia" on their part by getting in touch with their repressed feelings, empathizing to overcome their "emotionally stunted" lives, and thereby overcome any dislike or fear of African Americans.
Some afrophobic sentiment centers around ideas of Africans being unsophisticated. Such perceptions include of Africans lacking a history of civilization, and visual imagery of such stereotypes include living in mudhuts and carrying spears and other notions indicating their primitiveness.