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