Our mission is to foster cross-cultural relationships through inspiring, equipping, and connecting young leaders throughout the African diaspora.
This blog serves as a collection of memoirs sharing the realities of travelers who Black and persons of color. It features a diverse group of travelers with very different experiences abroad. These same realities are often invisible in travel guides and study abroad pamphlets, yet bring power to the travelers' experience. It is here, we all learn how to move beyond our borders with purpose
I have the privilege to twist the pasta at the table of my four-story host-home. As my Italian host family passes me bowls of new foods, new sauces and oils, I sit and only hope that my family could feel this love one day, that they could experience this opportunity, be able to chase dreams that weren’t made for us. I’m realizing that this is what my ancestors fought for. It is my duty to be able to push through for them.
Let things happen to you and not through you. Do not let others' prejudices consume you, change who you are, or alter your experiences. You are amazing as you are, melanin in your skin. There is no need to prove anything. Your blackness in specific times and places is important. Everything happens for a reason. You did not make it this far for no reason. Keep searching for why you belong. Although this does not come instantly, you have purpose.
My Blackness certainly makes me highly visible in the streets of Tokyo. However, what is different, what has left an impression on me is the fact that when I speak or when I act, my words and actions are taken as my own and are valued without the shadow of stereotypes about intellectual inferiority.
It is human to miss those who we leave behind as we travel the globe. Rather than dwell on what’s missing, this is the time to honor your opportunity by fostering your own home in the place that you are in. The experience of transcending boundaries is the very thing that pushes you to look within yourself to discover something new.
If, as a person of African descent, you are blessed with the opportunity to venture outside of your nation’s borders to a country with a small Black presence, you become a de facto ambassador for you race. Although sharing your rich heritage and pleasant intercultural dialogue is a large part of this experience, it is far from all it entails. Being a representative for Black people also means socially educating others—sometimes full grown adults—on how to behave when encountering someone who is, for them, outside of the norm.
I opened my eyes when I started to connect with the Afro-Brazilian community. Many of our political problems are similar in terms of lack of representation; however, economically, African-American and Afro-Brazilian communities are eons apart. Brazilians will openly admit that discrimination does occur, but on the basis of class, however, they forget to mention that the majority of Afro-Brazilians happen to be of the lowest socio-economic status.
The most important thing that I have learned from traveling abroad is that the world is your classroom.
Black women from the States their question for me is always the same: “Have you found someplace to get your hair done”? It’s been almost two months since I’ve been here and I still don’t have an answer. This void becomes a struggle that affects part of our identity. India Arie seems to think we are not our hair, yet our hair is an important part of what makes Black women unique and beautiful.
In this nation there is very little exposure to or consideration of black culture aside from hip hop and jazz. With this in mind, I feel both the excitement of embracing a new culture and the serious responsibility of representing black women in a way that is worthy of our stature. I can’t wait!
"Is Black Lives Matter really a thing in the U.S.?"