What You Need To Know About Discrimination While Traveling Abroad

June 7, 2019

Traveling outside of your home country is perhaps one of the most fulfilling journeys one can experience. It’s an opportunity to expand your perspective, to participate in another’s world.

But anti-Blackness is global, and oftentimes, traveling abroad is riddled with discrimination.

Many jet-setters or committed tourists of color report the varied forms of racism they encounter while traveling abroad.

A barrage of insults and racial slurs was the experience of Nicole Phillip during her study-abroad program in Italy. Another Black woman in the program was even snatched up, rattled like a rag doll.

“Exceptionalist” discrimination, wherein Black people traveling are perceived as special, also occurs. From Asia to Europe, Black travellers are assumed to be athletes or entertainers - why else would they be there?

Pictures being taken; skin and hair touched without permission; being an all-around spectacle instead of a person are apart of this positive stereotyping. And there’s nothing positive about it.

Another prominent issue shared amongst Black travelers is the noted disdain held for African migrants seeking asylum - and the trouble that hate could mean for tourists assumed to be an immigrant, a term used negatively.

Anti-Blackness doesn’t exist in a bubble. It’s everywhere. To limit your experiences based on other people’s bigotry would be a disservice to self.

Still, be careful when traveling! Your safety matters when navigating this racially-charged world.

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