Primarily a cultural phenomenon, Afrophobia pertains to the various traditions and peoples of Africa, irrespective of racial origin. As such, Afrophobia is distinct from the historical racial phenomenon of negrophobia, which is specifically based on contempt for negro peoples. 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 centered on the US. In 2016, "Afrophobia" has been used as a term for racism against darker-skinned persons in China. In such usage, that 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 is reflected in advertising.
The terms "Afrophobia" and "Afroscepticism" are similar to Europhobia and Euroscepticism and can refer to three different ideas:
Afrophobia, or Anti-African sentiment, is a perceived fear and hatred of the cultures and peoples of Africa, as well as the African diaspora, which is also a social struggle about who has the right to be cared for by the state and society and a fight for the collective balance of rights and economic resource allocation by the modern state.
Hard Afroscepticism is a principled opposition to African integration and therefore can be seen in groups that think that their countries should not be part of it or whose policies towards the integration are tantamount to being opposed to the whole project of African integration, as it is currently conceived and/or projected to be.
Soft Afroscepticism does not have a principled objection to African integration but has concerns on one or a number of policy areas, which lead to the expression of qualified and justified opposition to the integration, or there is a sense that national rights and interests are currently at odds with the integration's trajectory.
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 Adrophobic sentiments are based on the belief that Africans are unsophisticated. Such perceptions include the belief that Africans lack a history of civilization, and visual imagery of such stereotypes perpetuate the notion that Africans still live in mud huts and carry spears, along with other notions that indicate their primitiveness.
Afrophobia in academia may also occur through by oversight with regards to lacking deconstruction in mediums such as African art forms, omitting historical African polities in world cartography, or promoting a eurocentric viewpoint by ignoring historic African contributions to world civilization.