Traveling to escape, resist, and belong: centering black experiences within tourism scholarship


Examining the contemporary movement of Black Travel, the special issue explores the intersection of racial inequities, Black belonging, and tourism, drawing inspiration from articles published in the special issue “Unpacking Black Tourism”. The collection critically analyzes historical and contemporary dimensions of Black travel, challenging traditional white-centric narratives in tourism scholarship. It highlights the emancipatory and community-building aspects of Black tourism, emphasizing its role in joy, discovery, and resilience against racialized oppression. Addressing the historical neglect of racial inequity in tourism scholarship, this special issue responds to critical moments spurred by the Black Lives Matter movement, extending the political and racial reckoning into tourism scholarship and practice. The state of society is explored in the context of the ongoing global reckoning with systemic racism, connecting legislative efforts to suppress discussions of critical race theory with challenges in the travel and tourism industry. Methodological frameworks are critically analyzed, advocating for the incorporation of Critical Race Theory and counter-narrative storytelling in tourism studies thereby challenging Eurocentric ideologies and advocating for justice across tourism scholarship. The state of praxis addresses challenges in researching Black tourism and the erasure of Black voices, highlighting Tourism RESET, a collaborative initiative focused on race, ethnicity and social equity in tourism. Contributions to the special issue showcase theoretical, methodological, and political explorations of Black tourism, emphasizing intersectionality as a common theme. The manuscript concludes with a call to action, urging academia to challenge dominant ideologies, adopt anti-colonized pedagogies, and embrace diverse perspectives for a more inclusive understanding of tourism and our world.

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