MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – One Mid-South woman is tearing down stereotypesthat African-Americans don’t travel. She’s started a movement called BlackTravel Gram to celebrate and promote travel by people of color. It’s local goodnews.
“I’ve traveled abroad maybe about 4 years, and I’ve hit upabout 22 countries,” said Black Travel Gram Co-Founder Ashley Paige.
De’Aaron and Ashley Paige grew up in small town in Mississippiwhere hardly anyone from the rural state traveled abroad. The Paiges are on amission to change that. They co-founded Black Travel Gram or BTG. It’spart of a growing band of travel agents and social networks encouraging peopleof color to travel.
“Step outside your comfort zone. See something different. Gosomewhere different,” said Paige.
Ashley says it’s not that people of color aren’t traveling, it’sjust that mass media isn’t documenting their experiences in magazines or in tvads. So, she started BTG on Instagram and has more than 66,000followers.
Paige says African-Americans are traveling now more thanever. She says when blacks travel, perceptions are changed around theworld. She says that’s because many foreigner’s first experience of peopleof color is on television where black characters can oftentimes be stereotypedas being aggressive.
“It’s group trips. You’re gonna meet a lot of great people, alot of like-minded people that love to travel, that love new experiences,”said Paige.
Beyond changing stereotypes, Paige says BTG really aims to gather travelerstogether, especially solo travelers like Stevana Stigall, to experience theworld and have a great time doing it.
“I travel abroad because it’s something new. It’s somethingfun, and it’s something that I enjoy. I like to get out, explore new things andpeople, new vibes,” said Solo Traveler Stevana Stigall.