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