Black Travel Alliance Launches History Of Black Travel Website To Showcase The Development Of Black Leisure Travel In Partnership With Tourism RESET

For immediate release
Tuesday, 13 July, 2021

Black Travel Alliance Launches History Of Black Travel Website To Showcase The Development Of Black Leisure Travel In Partnership With Tourism RESET

Oakland, California (July 13, 2021) — Black Travel Alliance launched today a new website History Of Black Travel ( in partnership with Tourism RESET. Their vision is to work toward educating the public on how the African Diaspora traveled to every inch of the Earth, progressively making their mark within the travel industry, from centuries past into the present day.

“We are excited to partner with Tourism RESET on this groundbreaking project” states Ursula Petula Barzey, Research Committee Chair, Black Travel Alliance. “We brainstormed a number of research initiatives related to Black travel and in the end felt that the History Of Black Travel website with a timeline would have the most impact as it helps to educate and correct the misperception that Black people just started to travel for leisure. We have been traveling since the beginning of time and have made major contributions to the development of leisure travel and tourism.”

Included in the initial launch of the History Of Black Travel are 130+ timeline entries from the Americas, focusing mostly on the United States. The plan is to continue expanding the timeline to add Black leisure travel stories from all continents and countries across the globe. However, the Black Travel Alliance, along with Tourism RESET, are hoping for a co-construction approach, inviting suggestions from the wider community of travelers, historians, scholars, and tourism stakeholders who are interested in Black leisure travel.

This feedback will assist with the development of the twelve main categories of the timeline that will help viewers focus on different aspects of Black travel throughout various eras, locations, and decades. Major categories include accommodations, explorers, groundbreakers, and leisure travel developments spotlighting cultural sites and tours, festivals and major events, outdoor activities, food and drink, retail, and wellness. 

The History Of Black Travel also has categories and entries related to slavery, migration, and the government with legislative and judicial rulings as they provide background and context for many of the Black leisure travel developments.

For destinations and travel brands who wish to tap into the Black leisure market, which according to a study from MMGY Global is valued at US$129.6 billion in the United States alone, the History Of Black Travel can be used as a resource to educate and guide discussions related to the contributions of Black people to travel historically, presently, and for the future. The History Of Black Travel can also serve as a valuable tool for educators looking to bring a different perspective from traditional media related to travel, tourism, and exploration.

“History not only tells us the story of our past but also informs our perspective as we move into the future. The History Of Black Travel timeline is a long-overdue tool for educators, researchers, and industry professionals to use in an effort to break down stereotypes and misconceptions of who the trailblazers in the travel industry really were states Dr. Alana Dillette, Co-Director, Tourism RESET. “So often, Black people are plagued by the collective memory of slavery and the many injustices that followed. The History Of Black Travel timeline is an opportunity to shape-shift the narrative of Black travel history and own our stories – both the triumphs and the hardships.”

The project launch team for the History Of Black Travel includes seven members of the Black Travel Alliance Research Committee.   Specifically,

Also, two Co-Directors from Tourism RESET:

History Of Black Travel project launch team

Additional quotes from members of the History Of Black Travel project team covering a range of angles are below:

Angle: Ally perspective
Stefanie Benjamin Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management, University of Tennessee, Knoxville & Co-Director of Tourism RESET
As someone who evolved from an ally to a co-conspirator, I’m challenging the system in which I benefit from. Amplifying the voices that are already doing this work, I’ve partnered with the Black Travel Alliance where we are working together to fight for social and racial justice. Some of this work is with the creation of the History Of Black Travel timeline which will serve as a pedagogical tool for educators – both K-12 and higher education. By unlearning and re-learning through a decolonized curriculum, this timeline will help with the disruption of dominant cultures’ lenses of history. Hopefully, this knowledge will contribute to creating an equitable present and future for all marginalized populations.

Angle: Gen Z perspective
Gabby Beckford, Gen Z Travel Expert at
Board Member, Research Committee Vice-Chair, Black Travel Alliance
The History Of Black Travel timeline is essential for the youngest generation, and the generations to come. We need to know the context of how we got where we are. Knowing our history also helps us foster an appreciation for travel as a whole, as it’s never been more accessible than now, and we still have a lot of room for advancement in terms of equity, ownership, and representation in this market. And we need to know where we’re coming from to know where we want to go.

Angle: Black Solo Female/solo traveler perspective
Donna-Kay Delahaye, Travel Blogger, Photographer, Digital Content Creator at
Board Member & Research Committee Member, Black Travel Alliance
The History Of Black Travel timeline is crucial as it shows that black women have been traveling solo for decades and making history while doing it. Especially in a time where it was not safe for Blacks to be traveling, much less a Black woman traveling by herself. The courage it must have taken for these Black female travelers inspires me daily and helps fuel’s my adventures and that of other solo Black female travelers who have followed in their footsteps. It teaches us that we can go where the adventure leads without fear.

Angle: Aviation perspective
Kerwin Mckenzie, Author, Content Creator, Speaker at
Board Member & Research Committee Member, Black Travel Alliance
It’s pretty scary that Black aviators went through so many issues just to be able to learn to fly. And sadly, we still have issues. The History Of Black Travel timeline showcases the plight of Black aviators and how they have blazed the trail for us. The work continues.

Angle: Boomer perspective
Patricia King, Content Creator at
Board Member & Research Committee Member, Black Travel Alliance
I’m blessed to be old enough to remember segregated travel and see the changes since then. In the 1950s, we took the train from my home in Chicago to Mississippi, we had to move to the segregated coach cars once we reached Cairo, Illinois, the last stop above the Mason-Dixon line. It was the law. And any road trip required you to pack your own food (it seemed to ALWAYS include fried chicken and pound cake, no matter who fixed it!) so you didn’t have to risk hostile encounters at restaurants. You could usually get soft drinks at gas stations, but there was no guarantee. The History Of Black Travel shows so many markers of progress since Jim Crow, but the price of progress is eternal vigilance.

Angle: Importance of storytelling perspective
Davida Wulff-Vanderpuije, Destination Marketer & Travel Storyteller at
Board Member, Communications Committee Co-Chair & Research Committee Member, Black Travel Alliance
Black people have long nurtured a strong tradition of oral history, passing on stories and rituals from one generation to the next. Today, we are rewriting the script and telling unique tales of explorations to far-flung corners of the globe through our pens and lenses. In the History Of Black Travel timeline, we have an incredible resource that showcases some of the pacesetters whose shoulders we stand on to continue telling our travel stories, our way.

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Black Travel Alliance is a professional non-profit organization [501(c)(3)], created in 2020 to encourage, educate, equip and excel black travel professionals in education, media, and corporate positions. Our three pillars of the community are alliance, amplification, and accountability. As travel authors, bloggers, broadcasters, journalists, photographers, podcasters, social media influencers, and vloggers, we unify to amplify. We also aim to provide training and business support to our members, as well as hold destinations and travel brands accountable on the issue of diversity in travel marketing and storytelling. For more information, visit

Tourism RESET is a multi-university and interdisciplinary research and outreach initiative that seeks to identify, study, and challenge patterns of social inequity in the tourism industry. Since its inception in 2010, Tourism RESET has advocated for anti-racism in travel, hospitality, and cultural tourism. Yet, Tourism RESET is also poised to address a broad swath of related struggles such as human trafficking in hospitality, animal welfare in tourism, accessibility, and the continuing power issues related to gender. Our partnerships include academic and industry partners in collaborating in various projects ranging from survey design, data analysis, in-depth interviews, focus groups, workshops, seminars, and grant writing. For more information, visit

2 thoughts on “Black Travel Alliance Launches History Of Black Travel Website To Showcase The Development Of Black Leisure Travel In Partnership With Tourism RESET”

  1. What an important initiative. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this a reality. Ursula, congratulations. Your focus and tenacity is inspiring.

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