Episode 76: Black History Themed Travel

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It is finally here!

Black History Month has arrived, and I am so excited!

Today’s episode is about black history and travel, and I wanted to reflect on the fact that I have the freedom to actually travel to wherever I want to spend my vacation.

So, today’s episode is celebrating black history and I’m going to give you some ways that you can add a little bit of black history into your trip, no matter where you go.

Let’s get into it:

[02:36] The Negro Motorist Green Book

The Negro Motorist Green Book was created by Victor Hugo Green to help black people travel during a time when white people refused to let them stay in their hotels and eat in their restaurants, among other things.

The book provides resources and lists places to visit that were welcoming for black travellers.

We have come so far with travel that in 2019, black travellers spent $109B on travel.

[06:45] Travel has changed.

Not only has travel changed since Mr. Green wrote that book, but it has changed dramatically, as recently as during this pandemic.

There’s the usual travel for relaxation and turning up, and recently, black travellers have been going around the world to gain some perspective on their histories.

Travel has become a fantastic tool for education, self-reflection, perspective, and also for having a good time if that’s what you’re into.

[07:58] Ancestral tourism.

There is a large shift in travel towards reconnecting with the past.

So many travellers are travelling to the land of their ancestors in order to experience their history.

As black people, it’s easy to travel back to Africa and experience what the motherland has to offer, and there is a great increase in travellers that do so.

[08:42] DNA tourism.

If you go to places like Ancestry.com and 23andMe, you can do a DNA test that can tell you where your ancestors came from, and you can travel to those destinations as well.

This is far more in-depth, so you can narrow down exactly where to go, on which continent, which country, and the town or village.

DNA tourism is becoming more and more popular, especially as we embrace black history and celebrate every root, right down to the tribe where our ancestors were born.

[11:10] General black history travel.

Historical travel doesn’t have to be as specific as DNA tourism.

You could travel to important places, monuments, museums, and celebrate black history in general.

You could go to Washington DC, and go to places like Frederick Douiglass’s home and MLK memorial. You could even go to Alabama and do nothing but absorb the rich black history, the good and the bad. Memphis and Georgia are also steeped in black history.

[12:36] Not every trip has to be international.

As I mentioned, the US has so much on offer to celebrate black history.

If you want to go international, Africa has so much. Ghana has The Door of No Return, which is where people were sold into slavery never to return, or the river where slaves had their last bath before they were sold into slavery,

The Door of No Return is on my bucket list. It’s a full circle, where my ancestors left never to return and now I will be returning because my ancestors didn’t go through all that just for me to not use my passport and freedom to do what they weren’t able to do themselves.

[15:58] Every travel day doesnt have to be about history,

Just about every state you visit will have some black history that you can experience for a day or two while you’re there. It doesn’t have to be every day. You could sprinkle your vacation with some black history.

[16:54] Black heritage history tours.

Major cities around the world have black history tours, such as Amsterdam, Brazil, Lisbon, London, and Paris.

Page 78 of the ABC Travel Greenbook has all the information you’ll need on these black history tours, so I suggest checking that out. To talk about her book, Martinique Lewis was on my show in episode 19.

[18:31] Sprinke black history into your vacation.

Visit a few memorials, museums, important sites, and other notable black history events in and around the area where you’re vacationing.

Nashville has the Woolworth Lunch Counter in Fifth avenue, where black people staged a sit-in where they were refused service.

In Detroit, you can go to the Motown Museum. In Harlem, NY, there’s enough black history to fill a whole trip, so you can find what you want to experience and add that to your trip. Head over to Memphis to the Lorraine Hotel where MLK was assassinated.

If you go to Jamaica, you can tour Bob Marley’s history. Heading to South Africa, you can visit the Apartheid Museum or experience Nelson Mandela’s iconic journey.

Even going to black-owned businesses can add a little bit of black history to your travel.

To experience black history during your travels can be as simple as going to black-owned businesses or as in-depth as traveling to Africa to reconnect with your ancestors. There is so much to explore and experience, so don’t miss out on any opportunity that you can get to celebrate Black History Month (and, obviously, the rest of the year as well).

Hopefully this episode has encouraged you to add a little black history to your trips, no matter which country you’re in.

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