We're excited to have a new cohort of Black Beyond Borders Ambassadors! They will be traveling all over the world, including China, Denmark, Argentina, England, South Africa, and Italy. Throughout their time abroad, they will share their experiences through our platform to give authentic narratives of black travelers, which we hope inspire others to take that next step and book an international journey of their own.
Below, you can learn a little bit more about each Ambassador and read their response to the following prompt: What does being “Black Beyond Borders” mean to you and how do you identify with this concept? Why do you believe that it is important to build transnational relationships?
The term “Black Beyond Borders” is powerful. It appears very specific and straight to the point but embodies such a vast, groundbreaking, and extensive meaning. The phrase consists of several personifications to me; it exemplifies the magnitude of achievement black people have made to obtain opportunities to travel and explore the world. It describes the power of [black] people internationally. It serves as an inspiration to people who have never traveled abroad, who have no understanding of what international travel means or provides, and as a shoulder to lean on for guidance to potentially travel internationally. I identify with the concept because I am a black woman traveling outside of the U.S. to defy stereotypes, share the knowledge, and prosper individually with the contents exposed to me during my explorations. Transnational relationships developed while abroad create new perceptions and definitions of intercultural respect, flexibility, and interest in other countries.
To me, being Black Beyond Borders means to be both unapologetic about one's identity and culture as a Black person while also being limitless in their exploration, understanding, and immersion in the identities and cultures of others. I identify strongly with this concept, especially after spending time abroad. I have learned to find fortitude in my own identity and to not let the ignorance of others make me question the validity of my own culture. With that spirit, I also believe in the importance of truly saturating myself in the culture(s) I associate with. Traveling allows me the freedom to learn life from different perspectives, and I have a duty to fully immerse myself in those experiences. There are no boundaries to my exploration.
To me, being “Black Beyond Borders” is being able to break down borders and connect with others from the African diaspora. While abroad, I like to build relationships with different people that identify as black and learn about the history of African descendants in that particular country. In addition, I share my story as a black woman living in the United States. I believe it is to build transnational relationships for several reasons. Since our world is essentially shrinking due to globalization, we are now approaching a time where more people from different parts of the world are able to communicate and work together easily. traveled eradicate human rights issues that we have, it is essential to have relationships with others from across the globe. By moving towards becoming global citizens, we can collaborate and share new ideas and new solutions to pressing world problems.
Black people are everywhere, and anti-blackness is universal. "Black Beyond Borders" signifies that my blackness exists and flourishes outside of the constraint of physical, geographic, and social borders. It is important to build this relationship because black children are not fed this narrative in school nor through mainstream media, thus we must create it and hyper-sensationalize it ourselves.
"Black Beyond Borders" holds so many meanings to it. For one, I believe it means to physically be black beyond the borders of the United States. Secondly, I believe it figuratively means that we are trying to break that stigma that Black people do not travel.