Author Talks Journey Into Global Influence of Black Culture

Global trip will give insight for social networking site

What traveling experience sticks out most in your mind?

In in the mid-90s,  I went on a tour of Europe with Russell Simmons and Method Man. We went to Zurich, Paris, Amsterdam, and London. I had never been to the other three countries. We hit four cities in six or seven days. We just rock–and-rolled, hardly ever slept and stayed out all night. We ate everywhere. Since then I’ve been to each country many times. It is wonderful to know you can go to certain cities in the world, hop off the plane, and know you’re good.

Have you ever found black culture in a place where you didn’t expect to find it?

I expect to find black culture everywhere. A lot of black culture is appreciated by [people from all over the world.]  There is no aspect of black musical culture that is not appreciated somewhere in the world. You will see musicians from Italy and Spain playing jazz. I went to Prague in 1999, and I remember walking down the street and seeing advertisements in Czech for a hip-hop party. Everywhere I’ve looked [I’ve seen] our music, our dance, our visual arts, and to some degree our food, depending on what country you visit.

How are black travelers different from other cultures?

I can’t speak for all black people, but what we have found is that black audiences want to have the experiences that anybody else will have. They want to visit the Eifel Tower, go by the Vatican. They want to see the landmarks. At the same time, they also want to know if there are any black people there. They are really curious about neighborhoods, restaurants, and historical sites that have particular historical significance to their experience.

How can BlackAtlas be useful to African American travelers?

BlackAtlas creates a forum where information about black culture in these cities exists. You are going to have peer-to-peer information, social networking, and the resources of American Airlines. You can literally look at places and then book a reservation or plan a trip. There are other travel Websites but I am hoping that this one will provide unique content that places an emphasis on people. People give insight about how it is to be black in these different cities. Hopefully users who live in those cities or travel to those cities will share their stories, pictures, and video, so that it becomes a real database of experience and information with lots and lots of different levels.

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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.