Black History Month and the History of Black Travel

black history month history of black travel

By: Cambria Jones, Director of Marketing | SearchWide Global

While today marks the end of Black History Month, the impact and history of Black people extend well beyond the constraints of a calendar, especially as it relates to travel. We must have a heightened awareness and curiosity about how our industry has and continues to impact the travel experience for Black people.

Travel has always been a part of Black history. This dates back to 1492, when four African brothers accompanied Christopher Columbus on his first voyage, to the painful period beginning in 1619 of enslaved Africans being brought to the United States, followed by centuries of challenges leading up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and continues today.

The Black Travel Alliance, in partnership with Tourism RESET, developed a History of Black Travel timeline of more than 130 entries highlighting the pioneers, groundbreakers, and events that have impacted and inspired Black travel.

Black History Month is a time to reflect on the challenges we’ve overcome, celebrate our victories, and inspire the future. As we look at this timeline, I encourage our industry to consider how we impact the travel experience for Black people beyond Black History Month. What are we doing to build communities where Black people feel comfortable, safe, and free to express themselves?