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Old 04-22-2010, 08:49 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,296 posts, read 4,663,419 times
Reputation: 1084

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This is a very good question and I've enjoyed reading the comments.

I am black/African American and love the idea of travel. Growing up in the 60s & 70s in NYC, my family used to take driving vacations and we visited Canada and New England, mostly. I have always liked reading maps as a result. We also traveled by train and Greyhound bus. I didn't have southern relatives but my friends would journey "down south" for the summer. I don't think there was that much difference between the travel patterns of blacks and non-blacks at that time. When airfare prices dropped (I guess sometime in the 70s) it enabled some people to travel more economically. Hence, financial means (not necessarily race) held people back from traveling. Think about having a large family and the cost of flying. It's cost efficient to jump in the car -- but that limits your scope. Also, people generally get comfortable with a routine and as we get older, it's harder to change. Are most people going to wake up one day and say, "I want to travel to Arizona" if they've never been, don't know anyone there or never knew anyone who went there? With black people, I'd say that travel choices have a lot to do with money, time, familiarity and safety. Not saying that black people would be treated badly abroad, but it is a scary prospect to think about being alone someplace that you're unfamiliar with, can't speak the language and people don't want to deal with you. Personally, I have traveled throughout the US due to work responsibilities and I am part of a black/African American ski group but I have only been to Europe once. For someone of my educational level and income, I am way behind my non-black peers. Why haven't I gone??? Probably because I didn't want to travel into the unknown alone and finding friends who are open to exploration and/or have the money and/or time to go isn't always easy. Also, it was never emphasized as being important in my family. They didn't travel beyond North America until they were in their 50s.

 
Old 04-24-2010, 05:00 AM
 
128 posts, read 348,613 times
Reputation: 150
In a ethnically diverse city with a very high percentage of black people:

Go to the local airport and only one in one hundred are black
Go to professional baseball or football and only one in one hundred are black
Go to a nearby National Park and and only one in a thousand is black
Go to the Library and only one in a hundred are black
Go to a bookstore and only one in a hundred are black
 
Old 04-25-2010, 06:03 PM
 
Location: 5 years in Southern Maryland, USA
791 posts, read 2,460,227 times
Reputation: 427
[quote=Tamith;13027453]I'm very sorry to hear that, Slowlane :/ I wish that were different, though it's something I've also noticed about Blacks and museums. Maybe it's not that big of a deal to some, but I think it's unfortunate. At my university, I'm the only Black person earning English Literature degree specializations in African American Studies and Museum Studies, so I can't help but wish more Americans in general were interested in museum visitations.

The lack of Black/African American tourists is something I see as a detriment. Because of this, I'm going to try and make it a personal priority to travel as often as possible, both now in my 20s and during my children's teen years - I'd like them to be well-traveled and if nothing else, know 2 languages if not more. I've also decided to try, while older, having a long roadtrip throughout the US, visiting all of those states I've only ever seen in pictures (I've only ever been to FL and SC really).

There has to be a change in the pattern of being enclosed in this bubble without contact with the outside world - I feel that from the very inside of my being.
I thoroughly hope more Black people and Americans as a whole, become (and are economically allowed to become) better traveled. I think it'd do a world of good.[/quote]


TAMITH, thank you for not being culturally offended by my comments, which are based on long decades of observation. Also, I'm surprised that after 17 pages of comments, no one here has raised the subject of MILITARY travel. I've noticed that the millions of career military African-Americans who have lived overseas for long periods, come back with a greater understanding of other cultures, it is broadening to them, they are confident of themselves, and they and their children seem more comfortably adapted to non-black American environments. I can almost pick-out black military families, just by their poise and confidence.
 
Old 04-26-2010, 01:19 AM
 
Location: Southern East Coast, USA (The sticks of SC xP)
17 posts, read 49,328 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlane View Post
TAMITH, thank you for not being culturally offended by my comments, which are based on long decades of observation. Also, I'm surprised that after 17 pages of comments, no one here has raised the subject of MILITARY travel. I've noticed that the millions of career military African-Americans who have lived overseas for long periods, come back with a greater understanding of other cultures, it is broadening to them, they are confident of themselves, and they and their children seem more comfortably adapted to non-black American environments. I can almost pick-out black military families, just by their poise and confidence.
Not a problem - I understand completely, Slowlane. And I agree about military families. They don't have the fears that families that have been stagnant and have not traveled have.

I have a close friend here at college and she's Black and was born in Germany, I believe (or at least spent a good deal of her single-digit years of life there) - used to know the language fluently and everything before moving back to the US with her family. She often mentions wanting to go to places like France and back to Germany; which is a big difference when compared to people like my parents, that personally believe that there's more danger to be found elsewhere than in the US (I hate this mindset and often tell them "I can find the same dangers there that I can here - no more or less").

I wonder if it is also a generational thing. My parents want to see the rest of the US, and I put that second on list of things to do behind touring other countries. Perhaps it's indicative of the mindset picked up from the time during which they grew up? I don't think I mentioned the idea before. Just a thought; either way though, I'm glad so many people have responded to this thread! It gives readers so much to think about!
 
Old 04-26-2010, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Between a rock and a hard place.
445 posts, read 959,385 times
Reputation: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjones1976 View Post
You have to be careful where you travel to in this day and age. Black people tend to steer clear of areas that seem unwelcoming to them, hense the reason most travel to places where there are more than a handful of them.
Exactly. It's not rocket science.
 
Old 04-26-2010, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Between a rock and a hard place.
445 posts, read 959,385 times
Reputation: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlane View Post
I've always noticed this too. At Disney World FL, which is in the Deep South close to a lot of Black population, there actually seemed to be more more French-speaking Canadians than there were Blacks. In the major tourists cities of Ocean City, MD, and Virginia Beach, VA, states with large Black populations, also hardly any Black visitors.

In my lifelong hometown, Washington D.C. which has the world's largest collection of various free-of-charge Museums which cover all variety of different fascinating subjects, the Smithsonian Institution, there are very few Black visitors in any of the buildings (except for the security guards). There are thousands of Blacks who live only a couple of miles away who have never even been in the museums a single time in their life, even though admission is free, and many exhibits touch on Black history. Many of them prefer instead going on bus excursions to Atlantic City or Delaware to waste their money gambling in slot machines - in conversations at the office, lunchroom, or commuter bus, they're forever talking about playing slot machines.
Are you doing a thesis or something? Is it really that serious?
 
Old 04-26-2010, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Between a rock and a hard place.
445 posts, read 959,385 times
Reputation: 278
[quote=gea12345;8399451]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregon Transplant View Post
Why is being a tourist so uncommon among the African amercians?

To be honest, most Italian Americans, Irish Americans, Polish Americans and Jewish Americans, and African Americans do not travel!

Most people do not travel even to the city. Most americans don't leave their neighborhoods!!

Most people travel to foreign countries to visit family!

Most (english speaking) Americans do not like traveling to a country where they do not speak English!

Most Americans do not travel and do not speak a foreign language.

The small percentage of Americans that do travel, travel to resorts or cruise shipping or countries where their relatives came from like Ireland, England and France! Spain is high up there as well as well visited destination of europe!! As well as, Israel, for religious and cultrual and political reasons!!

Low on most Americans list is Russia...who wants to visit there except russians and political science majors!! And Russians are racist/prejudice against a lot of people not just African people.

Most Americans make less than 40,000 a year!

Most Americans take vacations in America!! they use trains, busses, r.v.'s, cars, planes, etc...

Most European Americans and AFrican Americans And Mexican and Hispanic Americans use their hard earned money to visit family! This may be midwest, south, etc...

Most Americans who have the luxury of foregn travel are couples who do this as a hobby!

Most Americans prefer to visit family, neices, grandneices, etc...!!

Most Americans travel to Walt Disney or Florida or Atlanta, Mexico or the Carribean!!

Most Americans cannot afford to stay in SAFE Resorts, which cost your credit card an arm and leg.

Most Americans prefer not to use their credit card to pay for vacations they can ill aford. This is a mentality of the young American, who has watched too many MTV abroad or travel shows and believe they can have it all, the great job, nice clothes, two cars, nice house, vacation every year, pay off rising college debt, rising elementary and secondary school debt, and save for their retirment at the nice old age of 55 after paying off all of their credit card debt, hospital debt and their parents nursing home debt!! Get real!! The economists are predicting that americans are going to have to start to live within their ACTUAL means!!

Most Americans who travel, who dont' have money, and stay in youth hostels are single, dont' have children and aim to please themselves. We are rare.

Most Americans dont' like budget traveling! To them traveling is only worth it to have the best. They don't want to spend a thousand dollars traveling across the world to watch a bunch of poor people, speaking a foregin language, eating food they are not used to.

Most americans who travel are spending money they have not saved and are living on borrowed money from banks through their credit card.

Most African Americans like myself who travel yearly, do it because we want to explore the world. Most Americans do not want to explore the world, they are very HAPPY with good ole America!! or their Backyard!!

Additionally, if half of my family were to travel on the same plane with you, you would have no idea that they were African American, so looks can be

deceiving!!

Most Americans, travel to europe, and the cheapest foreign fares are to England and France, where American travel most! If people like yourself and others were to contribute to an Airline maintaining flights to low cost flights to Africa, you would see more Africans on the planes!! And more Americans African and European flying to AFrica!!

The biggest non-european destination from America is India!! to my knowledge!! You will see many Non-Europeans flying!! Why?? To see family!!!!! Not to spend money seeing the world!! This is a fascination shared by a minority of Americans!! Traverlers are a rare breed! and most people do it while they are young, if their parents can afford it!!

And to my mind, cruise ships and beach and ski resorts is not traveling, but just moving your beer /wine party to a more exotic location, which you then pay for the rest of the year in monthly credit card payments!! Or if elderly, is a hobby, that most elderly people cannot afford!!'

Most people in the past 30 years have jumped on the bandwagon of traveling for their honeymoon and spending a fortune to have a hollywood wedding and these people are in debt from these choices even after the divorce. This is the one time they travel for their lifetimes! Most people spend their money on their children, children's schools, grandparents nursing homes, etc..not bouncing around the planet!!

Most people who have the money to travel and I mean saved money, not credit card, are living out a recent fad, since now days you see 16 year olds traveling without a chaperone. This was unheard of just 20 years ago!!!

20 years ago, people who travelled were hippies or the very wealthy!! or business people!

20 plus years ago, business Americans did not travel the way we do now! Why because we were more self sufficient and had our factories here in United State, not in Maniilla, Mexico or Hongkon, so less need to travel!

Most Business Americans hate traveling after they have done it for a few years, and quickly try to transition to a stateside only job!!

Traveling every year is a new Past Time of Americans with discretionary income!! Most Young Americans Traveling, their Parents are paying for it!! And if you ask their Parents did they travel to foreign countries when they were young!! They will tell you NO! One Italian American mother told me, that she was very uncomfortable with her daughter doing it, but since all of her friends were doing it, she relented. And the further she had been as a teenager was Atlantic City with her brothers!!!

Personally, I have travelled across America, to French and English Canada, I speak French, I lived in France for three years; visited Switzlerland, Brussels, Costa Rica, India, and Spain so far!!

Ignorance and myopic assumptions are a terrible thing and a good book should be used to cure this problem! Never make assumptions based on a narrow set of values!! A brain is a terrible thing to waste!!

good luck in your travels and happy trails!

THESE ARE NOT FIGURES, BUT ONE GUY FROM OREGON WHO MAKES ASSUMPTIONS WITHOUT KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT AMERICANS AND THEIR TRAVELING HABITS, LET ALONE AFRICAN AMERICAN OR HISPANIC AMERICAN TRAVELING HABITS!! AND HOLY MOSES, AFRICANS DO NOT SUFFER FROM MEDICAL PROBLEMS RELATED TO THE FEAR OF FLYING THEN ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING!!

It is elitist to think that just because most Americans are not flying off to foreign countries that they are less for it! Foreign travel is fun, but it will not grow your vegetables any quicker or put meat on the table! And many companies are cutting back on foreign travel and most americans wish for the days when we were more self-sufficient, and had manufacturing jobs, rather than them sent to foreign countries!! There are many more important things in life to Value, than whether you went to Cancun last year!
Well said. This post is one of those "ratings" posts.
 
Old 04-28-2010, 01:58 PM
 
Location: DFW
107 posts, read 454,904 times
Reputation: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bund View Post
wow,but I don't think Paris is better than New York.
Paris is different... and that what matters to travelers. Difference enriches your knowledge about the world/own country.
 
Old 04-29-2010, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Home of the best seafood
645 posts, read 1,288,614 times
Reputation: 393
I love to travel alone, and i'm black. To be honest with you, it's not something that I would have enjoyed if it was 5 or 6 years ago. I just started travelling a little over 3 years ago.
 
Old 04-29-2010, 11:17 AM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 12 days ago)
 
48,106 posts, read 45,484,200 times
Reputation: 15333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tough Questions View Post
In a ethnically diverse city with a very high percentage of black people:

Go to the local airport and only one in one hundred are black
Go to professional baseball or football and only one in one hundred are black
Go to a nearby National Park and and only one in a thousand is black
Go to the Library and only one in a hundred are black
Go to a bookstore and only one in a hundred are black
I have never know that to be totally true. Even if it is so, why do you think it happens? Or another question: What does it have to do with anything?
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