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Here's the Scoop on the Inspirational Black Travel Movement

If you thought that the Black Travel Movement is as old as the days of Rosa Parks resisting an instruction to give up her seat on the bus or as dated as the struggles of the legendary Martin Luther King, you could be forgiven. Because here’s a news flash; the movement started in 2015 (yes, only just three years ago!)

In essence, the Black Travel Movement (the movement comprises a body of groups and associations) was meant to allow Black Americans tell their own stories through travel. African Americans and the Black Travel Movement (BTM) combat stereotypes which included beliefs regarding travel (or the lack thereof). Regardless, one thing stands true: African Americans have an increased awareness of travel and with that awareness comes the need to know more and do more, including traveling across the length and breadth of America and indeed, the world!

Black Travel Movement

From an economic point of view (yes money somehow rears its head), many companies are also trying to cash in on a reported spending chest of close to 50 billion USD among this set of travelers. Such entrepreneurial platforms like Travel Noire, Black&Abroad, as well as Nomadness Travel are reaching out and creating opportunities to travel for Black Americans.

The Black Travel Movement is serving other purposes as well. One of them is confronting the increasing racial tensions that have been the hallmark of the US in recent years. African Americans see the Black Travel Movement as a means of validating their existence and right to live, work, and travel unperturbed in America. Especially in the light of recent events including violence in Charlottesville, Virginia; clashes over Confederate Monuments; and the NAACP’s first travel advisory for a U.S. state for Missouri

Another reason is on personal levels. Many other African Americans see the movement as a means to heal from personal traumatic experiences like a divorce or death of a loved one, make new connections and forge a new beginning in life.

The BTM also presents other opportunities, serving as a tool where African-Americans can use their skills, time, and other resources to help others. One that comes to mind is The Impact Movement, a ministry that works with African-American college students to serve needy communities around the globe.

Whether traveling for missions, personal enlightenment or fun, The Black Travel Movement allows travelers/patrons step outside their comfort zone and effect the change(s) they need in their lives to make things better.

The Influence of Social Media

Thanks to Social Media, many African-Americans are buying into the idea of embarking on solo or group adventures. Evita Robinson, the creator of Nomadness Travel Tribe, opines that Facebook, YouTube, and other social media footages have lessened the apprehensions associated with traveling, giving form/tangibility to the prospects of embarking on trips.

Here is a list of things to do, and see if you can make the most of your time as a Black American traveler:

Be prepared

This tip sounds cliché, right? No, it doesn’t. Traveling means you must equip yourself with all things necessary, and a little extra. Research about the place(s) you intend to visit. Learn a thing or two about the language, culture, and societal etiquette. Hold funds in various forms including cash, credit cards, travelers’ checks and credit cards. Ensure your travel documents are in order and move about with copies (it is better to keep originals at the hotel or a bank).

Join a Group

Remember, it is not called a movement for the sake of it, so you should take advantage of the strength in numbers when traveling. The benefits are many. You receive huge discounts on travel fares, hotel accommodation, shopping promotions as well as tour bonuses. Also, the chances of getting harassed or suffering from untoward behaviors are significantly reduced.

It is always fun moving within a crowd of like-minded individuals, bonded not just by race but by other common interests and pursuits. Thinking of which Black Travel Movement group to join? It all depends on your interest, hobbies, and budget. The most notable Black Travel Movement platforms include Black & Abroad, Travel Noire, and Nomadness Travel among others.

Or You Could Go Alone

Okay, I get the picture, you’d like some peace on your travels. You can exercise your right to travel alone but it is critical you take all necessary measures outlined in tip 1.

Charity begins at home

It would be nice to have each state in the USA on your bucket list. Go for packages that allow you to enjoy your tour in good time and at an affordable rate. The knowledge gained, connections formed and reformed, as well as broader integration, are benefits of touring the length and breadth of the US.  But also… go to Africa. Where? Find out here!

Then go International

The movement also aims to connect African-Americans with the international audience. Especially finding ancestral roots in Africa. Look forward to visiting places in Africa including historical locations like the Pyramids of Egypt and the Victoria Waterfalls in Zimbabwe (or Zambia, assuming you get sucked into the argument of which country houses the Falls).