TWB: Traveling While Black

My next trip was to Prague in 2011. It was here that I had a hard-hitting experience of the obstacles that come when traveling in black skin. In Prague, local Czechs stared and pointed at me. Walking around a plaza with my Bengali friend, we were pointed at and mocked. Other members of color of the trip recall having their pictures taken. I couldn’t grasp of the subtext of these moments at the time; all I felt was discomfort, frustration, and anger.My experience is not uncommon. A friend of color told me about how he was pointed at and called Obama in China. Another recounted her experience in Indonesia. Upon hearing these stories, I realized that traveling while Black is burdensome.So I escaped to Rwanda in 2012. For many reasons, this trip was different than others. For one, I was not traveling with my school but through an independent program. The program attracted a diverse group of people with varying interests, a healthy addition to my expedition instead of the slew of narrow-minded drunken college kids I was accustomed to.In good company, my trip to Rwanda was remarkable. I witnessed the strength of a post-genocidal society ready to move towards inclusion in the world of states. I enjoyed walking around without feeling like an outsider. I also harbored guilty satisfaction when my white companions were constantly stared at. I thought “finally, they understand what it feels like.”

 

via TWB: Traveling While Black.

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