GUIDANCE FOR ACADEMICS & TRAVEL INDUSTRY
The Black Travel Alliance is committed to amplifying the stories of Black history in the travel space. In order to address a gaping hole in the knowledge base of the travel industry, we created the History Of Black Travel timeline to serve as a resource to support educators, researchers, industry practitioners, and other stakeholders in the travel industry. In collaboration with researchers from Tourism RESET, this resource focuses on amplifying major Black voices in the travel space across a multitude of categories.
Amplifying traditionally marginalized voices and accomplishments of Black travel history supports the larger goal of this resource: to guide tourism stakeholders into discussions about the contributions of Black people to travel historically, presently, and for the future.
In authoring this resource, the Black Travel Alliance and Tourism RESET do not position themselves as the experts on this subject, but rather, we intend this timeline to be a living document. We invite engagement from the wider community of travelers, historians, and other interested scholars or tourism stakeholders. Viewing this timeline as an ongoing process of collective self-reflection and education, we encourage using this resource within a variety of ways:
- Self-education and acknowledgment of untold Black travel histories
- Educational resource for classrooms (K-12 or higher education)
- Historical reference for researchers interested in Black travel
- Displays at relevant travel sites and organizations (i.e. airports, hotels, venues)
- Exhibitions at historical museum or heritage sites and trails
- Resource for cultural heritage tour (re)designs
- Destination specific resource for highlighting Black history
- Knowledge base for Black history tourism and experiences
- Creation of Black heritage festivals and events
- Showcase of relevant Black history for Black travel content
Implications For Academics
Our goal in creating this resource is to provide an alternative lens of travel history, highlighting Black travel pioneers, explorers, influencers, and moments in history that played a significant role in shaping travel. Traditionally whitewashed, the history of travel and tourism has often left out these counter-narrative stories of Black people. The responsibility of educators is to facilitate difficult dialogue that encourages an ‘unlearning’ of colonized histories and a ‘re-learning’ of counter-narratives within travel and tourism. This ‘critical turn’, dubbed by tourism scholars, questions how politics and power relations contribute to the silencing of Black populations’ stories, accomplishments, and contributions to the tourism landscape.
The History Of Black Travel timeline will serve as an educational tool in classrooms both K-12 and higher education, to counteract the dominant histories of travel and tourism published in textbooks and other educational materials. Sharing Black populations’ histories allows for an inclusive and equitable pedagogical design and encourages educators to utilize anti-racist pedagogy in the classroom. This resource is an action-oriented guide that does not claim to be exhaustive. Instead, it is meant to critique the ways in which Black stories are told (or silenced), decolonize pedagogical design, and challenge the current romanticized and glorified version of history.
Adaptable for K-12 and/or higher education
- Interdisciplinary in nature, the History Of Black Travel timeline is applicable across a variety of disciplines including history, hospitality, tourism, recreation, leisure, geography, anthropology, sociology, marketing, Africana studies, and numerous other disciplines.
- Educators may incorporate the resource within assignments, class discussions, projects, debates, exams, and other course materials.
Contributes to inclusive and equitable pedagogical practices
- The History Of Black Travel timeline creates space for educators to critique the power dynamics of whose history is told (traditionally dominant narratives) and how that history is told, challenging students to question the dominant narratives that exist in society.
Implications For The Travel Industry
The History Of Black Travel timeline is appropriate for industry stakeholders including Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), Tourism Boards, Travel Brands, Travel information services, Museums, Heritage Sites, Airports, Event planners, etc. Below are suggestions on how this work can be further amplified in partnership with the Black Travel Alliance and Tourism RESET:
- Displays at international/regional airports; hotels; DMOs; restaurants; movie theaters; event venues; convention centers; cruises
- Museum or historic/heritage site exhibitions
- Assist in re-design of tour/docent scripts and tours
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops around Black history of specific destinations
- Highlighting of Black history on DMO’s website
- Assisting with the creation of targeted Black history tours/experiences
- Creation of Black heritage festivals/events
- Working with Black content creators on campaigns to showcase timeline entries for a specific destination or category
Black Travel Alliance
The 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. Along with this historical research project, we recently partnered with MMGY Global on The Black Traveler study to gather insights on Black travelers from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. From the report released January 2021, we know that the spending power of Black travelers from these six countries is US$159.5 billion annually. For more information, visit www.blacktravelalliance.org.