The content of each post is solely written by that contributor and only expresses the contributor's personal views. Each post does not represent the views of all the contributors or Women of Color Living Abroad as an organization. Each contributor is speaking from their own person experiences and/or perspective.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Are There Black Folks There?

American Airlines Going Black
February 17, 2012—Cha Jones

While lying on my bed in Korea watching TV One on my sling box, my way of living abroad but staying submersed in American television, I was aroused by a commercial I saw. The commercial was advertising travel from an African-American experience. Hmmm…well, let’s just say I was very interested. I jumped up and went to the website where I then watched travel expert Nelson George do a complete five minute video travel blog on traveling to Shanghai, China. In Shanghai, he interviews black people about their experience living in China as an African-American. He also went to a few tourist spots that were interesting and may cater to African-American’s all while discussing food, culture, and entertainment.

I will say that I really loved Nelson’s video travel blog. However, as I began to sift through the website I couldn’t help but to ask myself a few questions. I first wanted to know why American Airlines would be sponsoring an African-American travel initiative. The site featured travel all over the world and it centers on travel from an African-American experience. Their slogan is: “Your passport to the Black Experience.”


Also, I noticed that Nelson was traveling to several different places nationally in America as well as abroad, but in what I saw, he was pointing out where the black people were on his trips or how black people contributed to the area, and I have no opposition to any of that. I don’t oppose because when I travel nationally in America or abroad the first thing I want to know is, “Where are my people?” or at least the natives. However, I am still trying to understand the angle in which American Airlines is coming from.
I’m thinking…Let’s pocket some of the black consumerism.

What’s in a Name?

Now, I find it very interesting the name of the site is Black Atlas. Is that like Black at Last? I’m just saying inquiring minds would like to know. I have done marketing for like thirteen years and I have this funny suspicion that the name is a play on words.  Could very well just be Black Atlas, like the globe.
The website is a first of its kind social networking site launched by American Airlines which… ok let me just put it in here in their own words.
            BlackAtlas.com Connects African-American Travelers Through Dynamic Online CommunityAmerican Airlines will launch a first-of-its-kind social networking site, BlackAtlas.com SM, which combines the best features of a travel site with the power of social networking to create a dynamic online community for travelers to share experiences unique to the black community.User content will be anchored by travel video blogs and commentaries from author, filmmaker, television producer and world traveler, Nelson George, who will serve as the BlackAtlas.com travel expert at large. Unique travel content for the site is currently being collected at BlackAtlas.com. The site is scheduled to fully launch later this month.“I love to experience new cities, new food and meet new people. I love the thrill of discovering black culture everywhere, and so many African Americans feel the same way I do,” said Nelson George. “I want to entice more people to hit the road by giving them a different, and hopefully fresh, angle on travel through BlackAtlas.com.” READMORE
So, back to that name of the site

Is it like…we are black and at last we can are traveling the world or at least leave the comforts of our own neighbors? Just asking because inquiring minds would love to know.

I’m all for it

As a black woman who loves to travel, I can honestly say that I think the idea of the site is wonderful, interesting, but still wonderful. I enjoy traveling and writing about travel, that is the reason for this blog, and I’m even more interested in learning that you can become a contributing writer on the site…that’s good stuff.
Being a black person born and raised in Omaha, NE of all places in the world I think that this site is needed. I use to hate when people asked me, “Where are you from?” and I had to reply, “Omaha, NE” and then they would say, “Really, are there black people there?” and I just shook my head thinking to myself, “Well,  just the two I left there because I’m gone.”

So, now we as African-American people have a site dedicated to traveling, learning or at least being exposed to different places that are influenced by black history and culture, places that many people would not normally think black people exist, less alone travel to.

At last Black people are traveling the world…maybe we will be free Atlas.


  1. I am in Ohio, USA, doing a web search on African American communities living abroad. I'm doing the search because I have a desire to live = maybe retire abroad, but want to be connected to other African Americans abroad. I feel very fortunate to have come across this posting. I am going to look into this American Airline interest in black travellers. We do have money and means to travel, or even travel abroad, but culture is important and I would want to ber able to assimilate a compatible culture.

    1. SherieDee, I am so glad that you found this article as well. Where did you find it, what were you searching in your search engine (courteous)? I would also like to recommend that you join our group if you are on FB (Women of Color Living Abroad) you will find a great deal of networking in a very positive atmosphere where women give freely advice, assistance, and resources. I am not just saying that because it is my group, it's the REAL DEAL! I have lived abroad in Korea for three years and I have many friends all around the world, so if I can help please feel free ask questions. Cha

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  3. I'm researching the possibilities of moving abroad but my focus is Africa or the Caribbean. I am looking to correspond with other women who have made the transition from living in the US to Africa. Do you have any info/suggestions on this topic?

  4. I think more the question if black people are looking to relocate abroad is not IF there are black people THERE but more like "will they hire YOU in the job you're looking for, there." I mean, hell, let's face it, if your career is as a dishwasher you could probably live and work almost anywhere in the world and the jobs there would "have you." As a lawyer, mathematician, physicist, chemist, etc, that's a whole different ballgame.