Stefanie Benjamin, assistant professor in the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management and co-director of Tourism RESET, has teamed up with Alana Dillette of San Diego State University, and the Black Travel Alliance to create the History of Black Travel website. Launched in July 2021, it serves as an educational tool for elementary, secondary, and postsecondary classrooms to show how the African diaspora has influenced travel around the world from centuries past to the present day.
The website features more than 130 timeline entries, focusing mostly on the United States. Entries include the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville; the US Civil Rights Trail of 100 churches, public service buildings, museums, and other landmarks; the Historic Harrington School, built on St. Simons Island, Georgia, in the 1920s; and the story of Barbara Hillary, the first Black woman to reach the North and South Poles.
The plan is to continue expanding the timeline to add Black leisure travel stories from all continents and countries across the globe.
“Together we can work on generating dialogue around Black travel pioneers and spread the word about the history of Black travel,” said Benjamin.
Tourism RESET is a multi-university interdisciplinary research and outreach initiative founded by UT Geography Professor Derek Alderman that seeks to identify, study, and challenge patterns of social inequity in the tourism industry.
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