How Social Media is Uniting Black Travelers

Oneika the Traveller in Hallstatt, Austria. Photo by Robert Brauns
Oneika the Traveller in Hallstatt, Austria. Photo by Robert Brauns

Many incredulous folks around the world are unaccustomed to seeing black Americans traveling abroad.

“Where are you from?” I was asked in South America.
“The United States,” I said.
“But you don’t look American.”
“Who looks American to you?”
“Nicole Kidman.”
“But she’s Australian.”
-blank stare-

It’s not that we haven’t been traveling overseas: proto-Beyoncé Josephine Baker conquered Paris in the 1920s, followed by the likes of Richard Wright and James Baldwin, who are but two of the literary luminaries that penned their experiences about having black and brown faces in strange and exotic places over the past two centuries.

And now, social media has brought together thousands of intrepid black jet setters who trade tips on cheap airfares, most- (and least-) welcoming destinations, best places to get that quick trim or touch-up, and yes, where to get the best fried chicken on the road (one of the stupidest stereotypes around). This increased travel means increased marketability, with black travel spending estimated at around $50 billion.

The 9,000-member-strong Nomadness Travel Tribe, an invite-only Facebook group (with plenty of non-black members) requiring at least one passport stamp to join, is at the forefront of this surge in black travel consciousness, with educational outreach and group trips to Iceland and India among the collective’s activities.

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SOURCE: USA Today Road Warrior Voices – Ernest White II

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