Traveling While Black
For those with the means, contemporary Black travelers experience a freedom of movement historically circumscribed by oppression, persecution, and economic exclusion. People of African descent have found new footing in the exploding global travel field, with travel motivations ranging from pleasure-seeking to the desire to connect with ancestral homes. Travel abroad is not without its challenges, however: Black travelers recount dealing with stares, hair obsession, and the need to expand conceptions of the diverse places Black people live in the world. As a lifestyle movement coalesces around Black travelers, BBC News explores the unique experiences of traveling while Black, from encounters with strangers to hyper-visibility.
“Our access to travel has been historically tied to colonisation or immigration. We’re paying homage to our ancestors to be travelling on our own free will.”
“What does it mean to be a black traveller?” (BBC News | January 2020)
“How the black travel movement is gaining momentum” (CNN | August 2019)
Black & Abroad
Black Girls Travel Too
Vietnamese tourists killed in bomb attack in Egypt
- Three tourists and their Egyptian guide were killed by a roadside bomb blast near the Giza pyramids, which left an additional 10 injured.
- The tourists had been on their way to a light and sound show at the pyramids.
- The attack was the first fatal one involving foreign tourists in more than a year, with Egypt’s tourism sector having begun to mount a comeback following years of political turmoil.
“Bomb kills three Vietnamese tourists, Egyptian guide near pyramids: officials” (Reuters | December 2018)
“Bomb in Egypt Strikes Bus Full of Vietnamese Tourists, Killing 4” (The New York Times | December 2018)
“Deadly roadside bomb strikes tourist bus” (CNN | December 2018)
Dozens from more than 9 countries dead, hundreds injured after attack on Turkey’s main airport
- Three suicide attackers killed at least 41 and wounded 239 more in Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in an attack claimed by the Islamic State.
- At least 23 victims were Turkish, while others killed included people from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, China, Iran, Jordan, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
- Over the last year, Turkey has experienced multiple terror attacks as the government faces threats from the Islamic State, political divisions between Islamists and secularists, and violent conflict with Kurdish separatists.
“Islamic State prime suspect after suicide bombers kill 41 at Istanbul airport” (Reuters)
“Victims in Istanbul Airport Attack Reflect City’s International Character” (The New York Times)
“At Least 41 Killed Including 13 Foreign Nationals In Attack On Istanbul Airport” (BuzzFeed News)
(Image Credit: Osman Orsal/Reuters, via BuzzFeed News)
Al-Qaeda–linked militants kill more than two dozen in attack on Burkina Faso capital
- At least 28 were killed when Islamist extremists launched an attack at the Cappuccino cafe and the Splendid Hotel, popular with UN staff and foreign visitors in the capital city of Ouagadougou.
- At least 18 nationalities were identified among the victims, including Burkinabe, Canadian, French, Swiss, Dutch, and American citizens.
- Of the 176 hostages freed by security forces, at least 56 were injured in the violence.
“Burkina Faso attack: Foreigners killed at luxury hotel” (BBC)
“Burkina Faso hotel attack: 18 nationalities among dead” (The Guardian)
“Six Canadians killed in Burkina Faso attack, PM Trudeau says” (Reuters)
(Image Credit: AP, via BBC)
Court orders Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu to turn away out-of-dress-code visitors
- The Madras high court issued an order banning jeans, shorts, skirts, leggings, and short sleeves from the 6,000 Hindu temples in the southern Indian state.
- The court cited a desire to “enhance spiritual ambiance” as the motivation for the ruling.
- The ruling applies to locals as well as foreigners at what are major tourist attractions, with one temple receiving more than 4 million visitors per year.
“Tamil Nadu temples ring in dress code” (The Hindu)
“Hindu temples in southern India enforce western clothing ban” (The Guardian)
(Image Credit: M. Vedhan/The Hindu)
Developing: Tourists in the Philippines abducted at gunpoint
- Two Canadians, a Norweigian, and a Filipina were taken from the popular Holiday Oceanview Samal Resort near Davao City on the island of Mindanao Island.
- Though the gunmen have not been identified, peace with Islamist rebels was reached only in 2014, leading to worries of renewed conflict.
- Authorities indicated that the foreigners had been targeted rather than randomly taken, and police and coast guard operations have been activated to find the abductees.
Read the full story at BuzzFeed News.
Egypt muzzles journalists during investigation of killing of Mexican tourists
- Eight Mexican tourists and their Egyptian guides were killed by Egyptian security forces after allegedly being mistaken for insurgents.
- International and domestic journalists have been banned from covering the investigation into the incident, leading to criticisms of a lack of transparency.
- Human rights organizations have condemned Egypt’s military operations in the Western Sahara and Sinai Peninsula, arguing that civilian deaths have been endemic.
“Usually when there is such a ban on publication it has do with very tough cases where one could find evidence or embarrassing information about the involvement of some government high officials or military strongmen.”
Read the full story at the New York Times.
(Image Credit: Mohamed El-Shahed/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images, via The New York Times)