Friday, August 8, 2008

Why Fly Brother?

Because people of color - particularly black Americans - are traveling overseas for work, fun, or education more than ever before, but most travel-related magazine, newspaper, and Internet articles speak from a voice and perspective that I just can't relate to.

Because people want culturally-resonant information that offers them insight into the ins-and-outs of traveling under the radar in Havana, but conspicuously in Hong Kong. And people want to know what being black means outside of the US.

Because I don't care bout no damn top ten Irish pubs in New York, and I don't personally think that Copenhagen has a lock on the most attractive people in Europe. I wanna know about the top ten salsa clubs in LA and see all the shades, from coal to cream, that grace the hotties in Paris.

Because I grew up with Southern black marching bands and HBCU homecomings and found the same energy, spirit, rhythm, and soul at a Vai-Vai samba school rehearsal in São Paulo.

Because we ought to see more of the world, and we ought to encourage and help our mamas, sisters, granddaddies, frat brothers, favorite cousins, play cousins, 'cross-the-street neighbors, college classmates, and Shaunda's lil brother who just turned fifteen to do the same.

Because James Weldon did it. And Josephine. And Baldwin. And Du Bois. And Langston. And Zora. And Malcolm. And Barack.

Because the world ought to know more about us than Flava Flav and Diddy.

Because I don't experience the world via a culturally "neutral," "color-blind," "American" matrix. I live life in full color, just like I travel.

Welcome to Fly Brother.

9 comments:

Sharif Mika'el said...

peace,
I agree with you whole heartedly brotha.
Dont have my own blog yet but I just moved to Salvador, Bahia with my wife and kids. Both of us are in our twenties and Black.

Loving it, more of us need to get out and see the world.

Peace

jocelyn_t_florence said...

Amen!

la fashionista said...

Well said!

Juanita said...

Well Fly Brother, you summed that up quite nicely! Before I left the United States, I was scared out of my wits because I wasn't sure what to expect. I couldn't find any useful information about traveling as a black person in travel magazines.

It's blogs like these written by brothas and sistas that give real, relevant information. After reading blogs about other sistas living it up in Asia, I decided to take a leap of faith and go! I'm glad that I did! Black people, get out there and travel!

Ali la Loca said...

Awesome.

flowerbloom said...

How did you end up in Columbia? I plan to live abroad and learn Spanish. Needs some ideas.

Is it as scary as the media portrays?

Nicolette said...

My goodness...I'm loving this blog entry here. This is exactly how I feel right now, at this very moment! I have finally made the trip to Salvador da Bahia this year because of reading blogs like this and meeting individuals with such wonderful travel experiences. Before I left for Brasil, however, I searched high and low for blogs written by African Americans about their experiences, and realized that their blogs sometimes told a different story of Brasil. One that wasn't saturated with crime, pick-pocketing, etc. I think it is very important that we, as black people, get our stories out there as well to not only encourage our fellow brothers and sisters, but to help have an accurate idea of what WE can expect as black people in other countries. Thank you so much for writing this blog...taking note of it now and will be reading! ;-)

ngifunaukuya said...

just linked to your blog from matadortravel and all I can say is AMEN! well said black man.

ZenBiz Travel, LLC said...

This is a wonderful blog. I have been taking travelers for years to exotic locations. I salute you for you adventure and your blog. Wishing you continued success. Hopefully we will meet one day on my trips to Brasil. I have never been to the capital but I heard it is amazing for the technological design.

Continued success sir. Keep up the good work.