These influencers are using social media to encourage people of color to travel

Feb 3, 2020

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February is Black History Month in the United States and 2020 is the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment, which gave African-American men — but not women of any race — the right to vote.

This year is also a continuation of 2019’s “Year of Return,” which marked the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans to be shipped out of Africa to Jamestown, Virginia. West African countries continue to encourage African-Americans to go “home” and reconnect with their diasporic origins.

In general, however, there’s a stereotype that “black people don’t travel,” perpetuated by a lack of diversity in the travel industry. Even without initiatives catered specifically to African-Americans, black travelers spent $63 billion on travel in 2018 alone.

“If you look at major campaigns or advertisements for travel — especially luxury travel — you don’t see brown faces,” Marissa Wilson, general manager of Travel Noire, told CNN.

But over the past couple of years, black travel clubs and networks have multiplied. Leading the charge are influencers who are using social media to encourage and empower people who look like them to travel.

@hey_ciara

I’ve been following Ciara for a few years now. She first caught my attention when she tweeted out a super-helpful and relatable Twitter thread about how to travel on a budget. Since then, her following has grown for her tips, tricks and insights into traveling solo as a woman and a woman of color. Her Instagram feed will have you feeling extra wanderlust thanks to all of her amazing shots.

@nomadnesstribe

Nomadness Travel Tribe is a travel lifestyle brand created by @evierobbie. The Instagram account has grown into a community of 20,000 with the mission of showing the world that travel has no racial, gender, religious, economic or interest limitations. The Nomadness Tribe also created an annual festival, Audacity Fest, to bring together black and brown travelers from around the world. This year’s festival is in New York City from Aug. 20-23.

@griggsgoneglobal

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We often get asked for advice on what destinations we’d recommend or where we’d go first. While there really isn’t one correct answer (go everywhere!), it helps to ponder the types of experiences you’re after. As goal-oriented people, it took a while to switch from desiring “things” & “places” to “experiences” & “feelings.” Here’s how we categorize the places we’ve been: 1: HISTORICAL – Does it offer the opportunity to learn & uncover mysteries of the ancient and/or recent past that intrigue or fascinate you????? These were places like Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa, Italy, Germany, & Japan. 2: BEAUTY – Will it inspire & relax you by its natural beauty? Being in these environments spark creativity & positive thoughts/aspirations for me.☺️These were places like Fiji, Bora Bora, New Zealand, Samoa, Philippines, Switzerland, South Africa, & Norway. 3: ADVENTURE – Will you have an opportunity to do something outside your comfort zone that raises adrenaline????? For us, parasailing, snorkeling, jumping off boats & cliffs, hiking, sea walking, helicoptering glaciers, landing via sea planes, desert trekking, and an African safari top the list. Places like Fiji, New Zealand (Queenstown), Indonesia (Bali), Morocco, Australia, Kenya, & South Africa offered great opportunities. 4: WONDER – Does the country boast a monument, natural or man-made wonder of the world, or unique culture you’d love to behold in person? Something that makes you say “WOW!”???? Egypt, Cambodia, India, Jordan (Petra), Norway, Brazil, Italy, China, & Mexico have all provided this. 5: EXCITEMENT – Typically opposite of beauty/relaxation (but not always), these destinations offer loads of people, things to do, places to walk, & social events.???????????????? For us, city centers and metropolitan areas like London, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, Marrakech, Barcelona, Lisbon, Nairobi, Amsterdam, & Accra. 6: HAPPINESS – Sometimes, a place just makes you feel good. ♥️ This was Copenhagen, Bali, Queenstown, Lauterbrunnen, Accra, Fiji, & Samoa for us. We said all of that to say #Hawaii has provided great beauty, wonder, adventure, & happiness this week. What are your categories?

A post shared by The Griggs Family | ???? Travel (@griggsgoneglobal) on

This family of five sold their home in California to spend a year traveling the world together. Their Instagram is full of travel inspiration and tips for families. The parents wanted their kids to gain a better understanding of different ways of living around the world. In total, the Griggs family visited 36 countries.

@oneikatraveller

Oneika is a travel journalist who has visited 118 countries and counting. Through her Instagram, she offers travel tips on topics like safety while traveling or where to get the best photos in NYC. You can also catch her on the Travel Channel hosting “Big City, Little Budget” and “One Bag and You’re Out.”

@soulsociety

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The most interesting way I’ve ever spent “Thanksgiving Day.” The Year Of The Return, 2019, is exactly 400 years since the first slaves were taken from the Gold Coast (Ghana) and reached the shores of the US + Caribbean. We spent Thanksgiving at Cape Coast Slave Castle, formerly run by several European countries. 12 million humans were taken from Africa during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Many of which walked up to 3 months barefoot from what is present day Senegal, Mali, Benin, Togo, Congo, Nigeria etc to this very castle to be held, 1,000 at a time in close quarters in terrible conditions (rape, torture, darkness, starvation, amongst each other’s feces, vomit, menstruation) before being shipped in similar conditions for 3 months to unknown land… lands which most of us now call home. It’s emotional of course, but more than anything I have a feeling of gratefulness & pride to be on the other side of what my ancestors were subjected to. I’m sure colonizers never guessed that we would get to thrive. Shit, at times I’m surprised that we are. Thanks to the steps taken by our parents, grandparents, their parents. Community leaders & prayer warriors. Allies. Us. We are living well, happy despite, making a name for ourselves and living out our dreams. One of my dreams is inspiring Black people in America & West Indies to reconnect with a history & culture that is rich and doesn’t start with slavery. BLACK HISTORY DOESN’T START WITH SLAVERY. African-American history does. We are both. We need both. Thankfully more of us are visiting & learning our history first-hand, because Lord knows we didn’t learn it in school. One of many reasons why travel is a priority in my life. Grateful that we experienced the Door Of No Return in Ghana but even more thankful that @awuni_tours organized a Return Ceremony where a local priest prayed to our ancestors and let them know we made it back home! Actual home. For them & for us. Visiting is a step in the right direction. There is so much more to come… . . . #soultravel #blacktravel #yearofreturn #yearofthereturn #blacktravelfeed #travelnoire #blackvoyageurs #ghana #accra #doorofnoreturn #doorofreturn #fullcirclefestival

A post shared by Rondel Holder (@kingronthedon) on

Soul Society is a community of black travelers created by Rondel Holder (@kingronthedon) after he set out to travel and realized the lack of representation and different perspectives in the space. He is also the founder of “Global Royalty,” a travel concierge company that curates personalized trips to Africa and the diaspora. You can watch Rondel’s heritage journey here.

@beyondbmore

Brian K. Oliver is the founder of “Bmore See More,” a nonprofit organization empowering minority male students in Baltimore through education, mentorship and travel. Oliver is using his love for travel to encourage growth and empowerment among Baltimore’s youth. His Instagram highlights his personal travel as well as the work he’s doing to build up “Bmore See More.”

@hijabiglobetrotter

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????????: Hello! Hola! Merhaba! Salaam! ⁠ Over the last week, I gained some new friends on this platform thanks to the collaboration I did with some incredible individuals. ⁠ I'm Kareemah a language, culture, travel, and history lover. I use my platform, Hijabiglobetrotter to share with you travel from a Muslim's perspective and also to highlight underrepresented voices. ⁠ Here you'll find videos and articles relating to travel, learning a new language, and challenges people of color face when going through these adventures. ⁠ To get a snippet of what I do, check out the webinars I'll be collaborating with @sheswanderful. This webinar comes in two sections: 1. Tips on traveling to Muslim countries⁠ ⁠ 2. Tips on visiting the U.S. as a Muslim. If you are interested in learning more, sign up through the link on my bio. ⁠ ⁠ In the meantime, feel free to drop a comment to say hello :)⁠ ⁠ ????????: ¡Hola! ⁠ Durante la última semana, gané algunos nuevos amigos en esta plataforma gracias a la colaboración que hice con algunas personas increíbles.⁠ Soy Kareemah, amante de la lengua, la cultura, los viajes y la historia. Utilizo mi plataforma, Hijabiglobetrotter para compartir con vosotros los viajes desde la perspectiva de un(a) musulmán(a) y también para resaltar voces subrepresentadas.⁠ Aquí encontrará videos y artículos relacionados con los viajes, aprender un nuevo idioma y desafiar a las personas de color cuando atraviesen estas aventuras.⁠ Para obtener un fragmento de lo que hago, consulte los seminarios web con los que colaboraré @sheswanderful. Este seminario web viene en dos secciones: 1. Consejos para viajar a países musulmanes.⁠ ⁠ 2. Consejos para visitar los Estados Unidos como musulmán(a). Si está interesado en aprender más, regístrese a través del enlace en mi biografía.⁠ ⁠ Mientras tanto, siéntase libre de dejar un comentario para saludar :)⁠ ⁠ ⁠

A post shared by Travel Writer~Language Lover (@hijabiglobetrotter) on

Kareemah is a Muslim woman of color who aims to empower fellow minority travelers to see the world. She is also a linguist and creates educational videos on learning new languages through her Instagram and YouTube. There’s a lot you can learn from her whether you’re a minority traveler or not.

@aviatorsofcolor

The Aviators of Color Instagram account is focused on “connecting, empowering and celebrating underrepresented POC in the aerospace industry.” Off the ‘gram, the AOC is a nonprofit organization that aims to support and guide aspiring aviators in their careers through networking with industry professionals.

Is there someone we missed that you think people should check out? Sound off in the comments below.

Featured photo by Sebastien GABORIT / Getty Images.

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