Author Talks Journey Into Global Influence of Black Culture

Global trip will give insight for social networking site

1030_Nelson George

Author Nelson George will create video blogs from more than 30 cities for BlackAtlas.com. (Source: Jelena Vukotic)

As an author and journalist, Nelson George is known for his ability to pluck a reader out of her familiar surroundings and place her in another time and place. Later in his life he evolved into an acclaimed filmmaker and producer who used the same techniques to transport viewers into a different culture; particularly black culture.

Now as the face of BlackAtlas.com, an interactive social networking site for black travelers, George couples his talent for storytelling with his love of travel, which has become an extension of his career covering music, film, and culture. As the author of 14 books including Hip-Hop America (Penguin; $15), the Brooklyn native will visit more than 30 different cities worldwide and film video blogs describing the historical, political, and cultural landscape of each location and its relevance to African Americans.

George, 52, is no stranger to traveling the U.S. As host of  “Soul City,” a travel show for VH1 Soul, he visited Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and other cities infused with black culture. He caught the eye of executives at American Airlines, the sponsor of BlackAtlas, who, along with site marketers Burrell Communications Group (No. 4 on the BE 100s Advertising Agency list), pegged George for the job of travel expert-at-large. He has also traveled Europe extensively, and just recently traveled to India as the executive producer for Chris Rock’s new documentary “Good Hair.”

George took some time out from planning his itinerary to talk to BlackEnterprise.com about how he began traveling, what he’s found on his journeys and how BlackAtlas can play a paramount role in helping blacks learn about the lives of African Americans across the Diaspora.

BlackEnterprise.com: When was your first international trip?

Nelson George: My first international trip was to London for an interview with an artist in the 80s. As a New Yorker, I found London to be particularly user friendly. My first day there, I was everywhere, just like I would be if I was riding the subways of New York. In addition, England has always had a strong black– particularly Afro-Caribbean–community. I was really comfortable there. I loved London, and I wanted to see more of the world.

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  • greg

    How racist can you get? Yet you people scream if there was a white networking site called WhiteAtlas.

    • Kimberly

      Don’t log on to it then.

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  • Rick Lewis

    My name is Rick Lewis and I’m a resident of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I found this article enlightening and very interesting in that it begins to address what I believe to be the key for future African American and global African advancement. I am a business owner who’s in the midst of transitioning from a successful real estate career to a very promising career in marketing and promotions. This career change has truly been an eye opener as it pertains why we are where we are socially, financially and politically. Our inability to grasp the significance of and control our own culture has led us down a path of being everyone elses favorite consumer. We have been and are currently every new arrival’s path to success here in America. It’s common knowledge throughout the world’s immigrant communities, that African American communities are fertile grounds for financing their America dream. My new career has really given me a new lease on life and how we should be branding our communities, arts, fashion and businesses. Taking complete control of who we are and the dissimenation of that information to the rest of the world would lead us to previously unseen levels of accomplishment in many areas. Far too long have we been content with just being the creator, now it’s time for the creator to control the creation.