What It Takes To Travel Safely As An African American

By: Jennifer Magdalene

Travel serves as an outlet to explore the world, meet new people, and rejuvenate. But for black Americans, it brings additional concerns about racism and their safety. That’s why 71% of black travelers in the US and Canada consider safety as influential when choosing a destination, according to Travel Agent Central.

The attention you get as an African American can ruin your trip experience. Whether it’s undisguised pointing, staring, or having pictures taken without consent, racism is a problem that affects the mental wellbeing of black travelers. Acts of racism can lower your mood and increase your fears of exploring new places. Fortunately, you can make the best of your vacation by learning what it takes to travel safely as an African American.

Know Your Destination

Before traveling, check if the destination has a strong presence of racists or hate crimes. As a black American, you don’t want to visit an area where you’re not welcome and safe. You can get great insights about safe travel destinations for black travelers, like Ghana, Panama, Senegal, Bahamas, and New Orleans, on social media groups and forums.

Online travel platforms can also help you find a Black community to connect with, even in less diverse regions. When researching travel destinations, familiarize yourself with the cultural differences. Study how locals wear and pack similar outfits, know what gestures to avoid, and how to interact with locals.

Have A Travel Plan

Planning is vital to enjoying a memorable trip. Therefore, book your accommodation and plan your itinerary. When choosing where to stay, think of diversity and inclusion. Typically, you’ll feel safe in a black-owned hotel or resort. However, if black-owned hotels aren’t available, consider booking a room in a hotel that embraces cultural differences.

Creating your itinerary earlier also helps you plan where and when to explore. As a rule of thumb, plan for excursions or road trips during the day to avoid unwanted attention from groups that might see you as a threat at night. Make sure to carry a paper map when exploring new places. That way, you’ll avoid asking for directions in places you’re not welcome.

Be Cautious Of Flight Safety

Aircraft safety is a priority for airlines. For this reason, many airlines today ensure aircraft readiness through contractor logistics, just like the military does. By outsourcing aircraft maintenance, airlines can identify and fix mechanical or technical problems efficiently. While air travel is safe, racial discrimination is common in airports.

There are several things you can do to avoid racial profiling at airports. This includes, carrying valid travel insurance, passports, and vaccination reports. Immigration officers might spend more time checking your passport, emptying your bags or performing a body search. Try to be patient with them and answer their questions diligently.

Remember, your choice of clothes matters. So, wear outfits without metal buttons or clasps, as these will set off the security sensors and call for unnecessary attention. Inside the plane, ignore passengers who annoy you with microaggressions. Equally important, respect flight attendants and follow their advice to prevent misunderstanding.

Learn Proper Ways To Handle Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination among black travelers can take different forms, from racial profiling to unintentional interactions or stereotyping. These incidents can drain the energy you’ve preserved for sightseeing or food sampling. However, knowing how to handle racial discrimination goes a long way in improving your safety and making the most of your vacation.

Instead of being harsh, stay calm and choose short blunt answers to respond to annoying questions. Alternatively, be prepared to answer tough questions, like were African Americans only enslaved people? For example, educate yourself about the ethnic and racial histories of Colonial Williamsburg, VA and Portland, Oregon. Doing so will help you answer biased questions about people of color. If the situation seems dangerous, walk out and report to local authorities.

Planning a trip is exciting, but for African Americans, it entails being mentally prepared for racial discrimination. As a black traveler, you must learn safety tips to make your overall experience memorable. Start by researching your destination in advance to ensure people of color are welcome. You should also book hotels that promote inclusion and diversity, know how to handle racism and memorize flight safety tips to avoid racial profiling.

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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