Touring Whereas Black: How four Mother and father Plan Household Holidays
Health and safety always come first on family vacations. But black and colored families need to consider race when planning a trip and whether they are welcome in the places they visit or whether their family is discriminated against. We spoke to four black parents about how they deal with these issues. Most said that when deciding where to go, they consider how their families will be welcomed. They understand that certain places, like the southern United States, have their nuances and, at times, racism is inherent. Here’s how they plan their vacations and travel with their children.
Choosing where to go
As black Americans, it’s common to be the only black or colored person in a room. We almost always notice that. To counter this situation, some travelers consider the population of blacks who live in a destination before deciding to visit. “I’m not just worried – I figure it out,” says Montoya Hudson of the Spring Break Family. “If the area does not have a significant black population or is not a popular destination for blacks or ethnic minorities, it will be removed from the travel list.” Her preliminary research includes searching Google and social media to see if the target had racist incidents and even checking the census to see if there are black or brown people living there. She says it is possible that she and her family will be perfectly fine in places with little to no black populations, but the opposite could also be true.
Tiffany Miller (left) says her family is excited to see other black families on the street
Travel blogger Chinique Gordon of Fro Family Travels, on the other hand, is not worried about the number of blacks she goes to as she can usually find black expat Facebook groups in most of the world’s major cities these days. Likewise, frequent traveler Tiffany Miller says that her family gets excited when she sees other black families on the road and often nods in acknowledgment. For them, the presence of other people of color is less important than the opportunity to learn more about the world.
Beyond Facebook groups, social media platforms like Instagram offer valuable resources for learning how black travelers felt in a particular travel destination. Enthusiastic travelers like Oneika Raymond, Monet Hambrick and Rondette Amoy document their travels in great detail and always give insights into their experiences as black travelers in particular. Nonetheless, it is important to Gordon that other people’s experiences with a destination do not determine whether or not they plan to visit. “I found a lot of bloggers telling their black readers to avoid Spain like the plague of racism, and I was shocked that our experience was exactly the opposite,” she says.
Dealing with racism on the street
Every family had experienced downright racism while traveling. Hudson says her husband was called “LeBron James” while traveling in Rome and that their children were called “black and white” because of their different skin tones. The travel consultant Dina Farmer from Lily and Magnolia Travel carried out four more screenings with her two sons on the way back from Turkey at Frankfurt Airport, which in her opinion only happened because of the color of their skin. Because of this incident, she says that she is much more selective in choosing her travel routes in order to avoid another stopover in Germany altogether.