Why “black girl abroad”
I’m going to write about food / travel / culture from my point of view as a brown female. Black females do not typically travel very far abroad, and it’s particularly uncommon for Black American females.
Soo, I’m not a metrics analyst and I’m not about to go run a survey of black girls and their travels. What I will tell you is that in many years of travelling I have very, very rarely ever seen another Black American Female while outside of the US and nearby common entry points (the Caribbean, etc.). And of course Black women from various countries travel — but they seem to travel rarely away from where they call home. The issue is just, opportunity, financials, and what is driving emigration and travel for Black women of various countries. The sense I’ve gotten is most of these women travel because: 1) their family moved and so did they (most common) and 2) their job required it (pretty rare) and 3) they decided to do it on their own (I’m just gonna make up a number — 1%? .00001%?).
Looking at that, you realize — Black women who travel on their own whim to other countries are rare. Whether to live and work or just vacation — they’re just rare. Probably more likely, they’re going to travel with a buddy, but travelling ALONE? Even rarer.
Black girls abroad are straight up unicorns, people.
Thus, the blog. While I am ethnically a 50/50 mutt, when I travel within my own home country or abroad, people most often see my skin and assume I’m 100% Black American. And they often treat me very, very differently, depending on where I am. Sometimes it can be very obvious. Sometimes, not. Sometimes, the lines are so blurred it becomes a whole doctorate-worthy paper all on its own to think about. And sometimes, the being brown doesn’t even play into it, and there are no such questions in my head as I travel, because the experience is just the experience, and I am just in it. Posting about what it’s like … and I just happen to be black and a girl and American.
This blog isn’t meant to be a comment on race.
It’s just me trying to express who I am and share it, and hopefully as a byproduct, it encourages 1) more black females to travel abroad and 2) perhaps makes non-brown people pause when they encounter brown people in their home country and maybe, show a little more empathy.
Yup, I know how lucky I am.
I know I am blessed to be able to do this, and I am grateful. Not everyone, let alone a black American girl, can just up and leave whatever country they’re in for somewhere else, and I have friends and family who have never left their home town, state, country. The ability and privilege to be able to travel, as a woman, as a brown woman, as a single female, as a Black American woman — with a passport and money to pay my way and the freedom to choose where I want to go — the modern age has facilitated this, something that a woman like me could not have even dreamed of doing just 60 years ago And if you want to go back to American slavery, well. Yeah. What I’m able to now that my people — women like me — couldn’t do before is not lost on me.
And I’m going to milk it for all it is worth, because it’s a glorious thing, to be able to trace the world with your own two feet and not simply learn about its paths via books, TV, and word of mouth.