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BLACK HISORY MONTH SERIES: What Does It Mean To Be A Black Traveler?

Happy Black History Month! Urban Flight Collective wanted to kick off the month of February with hearing from black travelers and learning about what being a black traveler means to them. Traveling is quite the experience but surely a special experience for black travelers. We reached out to twelve influential black travel bloggers to see whats traveling while black means to them and you can read their responses below!

Want to share your response? E-mail and let us know what being a black traveler means to you.

“Outside of knowing my surrounding in every place I visit and what racism looks like and smells like in every country, city town or village. It also means be prepared to take pictures with random locals, basically be prepared to be an attraction. Which is to say in some places my representation is only seen on TV. It also means to be free and leave my mark on the planet. “

"⁣"Traveling while black is worth every stare you may receive while traveling. My great uncle told me he admired my travels and told me he remembered a time when black people couldn’t travel. I travel for the previous generations that couldn’t travel as well as the ones to come in hopes that they will benefit from us normalizing black travel."⠀

"Black Travel is Revolutionary! When you travel as an African American you are retracing the steps of civil rights leaders who traveled to escape the shackles of racism. You are also living your ancestors wildest dreams who were brought here through the middle passage against their will and carrying the spirit of souls who choose the ocean instead of bondage "

"Being a black traveler means everything in the world to me! It means that I have a responsibility of being the first interaction some people abroad have with a black person and to show our grace, our beauty, our intellect, and our respectful nature towards other cultures. It's a big responsibility but I'll take on the challenge and make sure I do well for the culture!"

"Being a black traveler means so much, it really opens your eyes to different cultures, and ways of life that that you wouldn’t have known about unless you visited that country. It also means a lot because there is a lack of representation of black travelers on tourism sites, travel boards, websites, and in certain countries overall so it is important we travel to places far and wide and show them that yes we’re black, yes we’re educated, and yes we travel just like everyone else. It brings joy to other black people who don't get to travel to see “us” in these places that many think shouldn’t be accessible to us. Travel has helped me to be more open-minded, and appreciative for all I have because I have been to places where they have next to nothing and never complain and are some of the happiest people I’ve ever met. Being a black traveler is important because sometimes you are a representation of all black people when you visit certain places so it’s good to show that we are not the stereotypes they often portray us as. I really could go on and on about this but you get my drift lol. "

"Being a black traveler means showing the world that there is more to black people than the negative stereotypes portrayed by the media. It means show in the world that we can be soft life luxurious queens, boss babes, adventurous dear devils, fashionistas. It means showing the world we happy, spontaneous, joyous people."

"To me, traveling while black means defying all odds. Where I come from, people don’t really travel. I’ve had neighbors who have never left the state. There are some who have never even left the city. I want to inspire my community and show them there’s a whole world out there to be explored. Even if you can’t travel across the globe, there’s accessible places right in your backyard. Black folks deserve all the joy and leisure we can get. And that’s what traveling while black does for me."

"Being a Black traveler to me means changing norms and stereotypes. Traveling is in deed a privilege, something I don't take lightly especially as a Black woman - let's be frank, folks still getting use to the idea of the Black tourist much less an avid traveler. Imagine that, traveling for pure enjoyment while Black with a hunger to explore and learn about other cultures.⁣⁣⁣"

"Being a Black Traveler means that I am a beacon of light. Not only to my culture as an inspiration, but also to other cultures as I am able to immerse myself within their culture & to share my own. Simply put, to be a Black Traveler is to be powerful beyond my own measure! I absolutely love it! "

"Being a black traveler gives me so much joy. There is a community of us that loves learning about other communities and cultures. We embrace other ways of living and connect with other travelers on such a deep level. We promote travel within our community and encourage others to do the same. We are strong and one of a kind! ✊🏾"

"It means connecting the dots of history and the history of my ancestors. It means great food, luxury experiences and meeting ppl from all over the world! It means freedom. ✊🏽"

"To travel while Black to me means inspiring my future families and other Black people around the globe (while focusing on Black Americans) to do what they love. I’m only 24 and have been to 25 states and 10 countries solo even though I’m from the small town of Selma Alabama and don’t even have a degree. If I can do it anyone can. "