Black Travel: A Movement
The travel industry has a lot of work to do.
If you type “family travel,” “solo travel,” or “honeymoon travel” into Google image search, you will see almost no Black people or people of colour represented. This kind of exclusion has never been acceptable and it has to change.
Black Lives Matter
On June 5th last year in Washington, DC, during the George Floyd Protests and height of the pandemic, a plaza was erected and big, 35-foot-tall, yellow letters spelling out “BLACK LIVES MATTER” were painted on 16th Street NW on the north of Lafayette Square, near the White House. It is a small step in the right direction to have a safe space to honour Black history and activist movements in Washington. (This historical location in DC has now become a popular photo spot among Flytographer customers.)
At Flytographer, diversity has always been important to us, but we realize that there is still a lot of work to do. We are committed to intentionally increasing visibility and representation for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) travellers so everyone feels included.
Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer. Keisha captures memories on her trip to Washington DC at the Black Lives Matter Square.
Black Solo Travel Bloggers & Content Creators
We adore these two influential Black women for sharing amazing solo travel tips, Black travel resources, and creating active dialogue for diversity in travel:
Evita Robinson(@evierobbie) is a leader in amplifying diversity in travel. She created Nomadness Travel Tribe (@nomadnesstribe) which is a BIPOC Travel Lifestyle Brand & Community. Evita is also a Contributing Editor and Host at CN Traveler. You can read a recent article she wrote on how Theaster Gates redefined Chicago’s South Side. Sign up for Evita’s newsletter to see her thoughts in your inbox.
Tianna Bartoletta (@tianna.bartoletta) is not your average millennial. She is a 2-time Olympian, 3-time Gold Medalist and 3-time World Champion. She has written a book called Survive & Advance about her Olympic training and fitness career, which was released this month. When she is not training or competing, Tianna loves to travel solo around the world and capture memories with Flytographer. Tianna promotes active tourism — which she describes as staying fit and healthy while travelling. She also celebrated her birthday in Brussels in 2018!
Black solo travel creators to follow:
@tianna.bartoletta ⋆✩⋆ @tiatakestheworld ⋆✩⋆ @veesass ⋆✩⋆ @wanderlustcalls ⋆✩⋆ @with.love.brina ⋆✩⋆ @wondersowanders ⋆✩⋆ @ajeveryday ⋆✩⋆ @ashleemajormoss ⋆✩⋆ @brownskingirltravel ⋆✩⋆ @eltonanderso ⋆✩⋆ @girlgonetravel ⋆✩⋆ @hey_ciara ⋆✩⋆ @im_arielrose ⋆✩⋆ @itsallbe ⋆✩⋆ @minoritynomad ⋆✩⋆ @misterlevius ⋆✩⋆ @myparisianlife ⋆✩⋆ @onegrloneworld ⋆✩⋆ @spiritedpursuit ⋆✩⋆ @thepassportabuser ⋆✩⋆ @thesophislife ⋆✩⋆ @sunandstilettos ⋆✩⋆ @theufuoma ⋆✩⋆ @asiyami_gold ⋆✩⋆ @efiasulter_ ⋆✩⋆ @lolaakinmade ⋆✩⋆ @packslight ⋆✩⋆ @glographics ⋆✩⋆ @travelwithtolu ⋆✩⋆ @victoria.alao
Photo: Elke in Brussels for Flytographer. Tianna celebrates her solo adventure with a birthday photoshoot in Brussels.
Black Family & Couple Travel Bloggers
We recently chatted with Monty at @thespringbreakfamily to get her best tips about family travel as an African American.
Q: How do you make trips more meaningful for your family?
- “We try to do a few things. For one, it’s educational … recently we’ve been putting in a lot of historical sites into our travel. [Our kids] bring something back from the trip with them that lasts, that sticks.”
- “Some of the other things we’ve learned, especially with the recent pandemic, is responsibility — when we go to places, leave it how you found it, or hopefully better … or slowing or stopping travel so you can slow the spread.”
- “And then, [it’s] just memories. We have kind of a family agreement that there’s no work, no school when we’re taking our trips; we just focus on each other, spend that time with each other, making those memories. You know … they won’t be kids forever, so we just try to infuse things in them that will stick and give them some type of memory of this is how my childhood is and this is how my adulthood should be.”
Q: What are your top 3 tips for road trips with kids?
- Bring lots of charging cords
- Plan for structured breaks along the way
- Plan for heavy traffic — there is always traffic!
Diversity in Travel Organizations & Leaders
As we mentioned, the travel industry has a long way to go when it comes to diversity. However, there are some amazing organizations and leaders who have made it their sole mission to change that narrative. The Black Travel Movement, Nomadness Travel Tribe and Travel Noire are some examples of such organizations.
In our recent IGTV chat with Monty at @thespringbreakfamily, we asked for her thoughts on the power of representation and diversity in the travel industry:
“This is something very near and dear to me, that I advocate for in my platform. I feel when we were first thinking about incorporating travelling into a major part of our lives, there was something comforting and empowering when you see people like you doing what you want to do. It can be anything from … other Black families, or other moms who travel solo with their kids, or just families in general … anything that you can relate to and identify with that adds some type of representation in the field. Very simply … we’re out here, people who look like me are here and we are doing this, and you are doing it too.”
As a travel company, at Flytographer, we have made it our priority to focus on sharing Black travel experiences that we capture so the broader community can feel empowered and inspired to go on their dream vacation or follow their lifelong dream to visit all 195 nations, like Jessica Nabongo.
Black-owned travel businesses and organizations to support:
@jessicanabongo ⋆✩⋆ @blackgirlstraveltoo ⋆✩⋆ @blackgirltravelslay ⋆✩⋆ @blackvoyageurs ⋆✩⋆ @elaishajade ⋆✩⋆ @nomadnesstribe ⋆✩⋆ @whereisbree @bktraveladdict ⋆✩⋆ @blackkidsdotravel ⋆✩⋆ @blacktravelista ⋆✩⋆ @jetsetters_diary ⋆✩⋆ @marty_sandiego ⋆✩⋆ @oneikatraveller ⋆✩⋆ @theblacktravelclub ⋆✩⋆ @urbntrvl
As we set our sights on addressing areas in which we could do better, we welcome dialogue and discussion on how to make our space more inclusive. From Greece to the Caribbean, New York to Los Angeles, we are here to capture and share Black travel stories to help change the narrative. Feel free to email us at hello[at]flytographer.com or DM us on Instagram @flytographer with your thoughts and ideas; we’d love to hear from you.