8 Black Travel Books to Add to your Wishlist



  1. Go Girl!: The Black Woman's Book of Travel and Adventure edited by Elaine Lee Part travel guide, part travel journal. Lee assembled 52 travel pieces presenting black woman writers like Maya Angelou in Africa, Alice Walker in Bali, Gwendolyn Brooks in Russia, and Jill Nelson on Martha's Vineyard. Along with the inspiration come snippets of practical advice and some very useful resources listed at the end--everything from travel magazines to cruises geared toward Black travelers.

  2. A Stranger in the Village Paperback edited by Farah J. Griffin and Cheryl J. Fish Named after James Baldwin’s landmark essay on being a black traveler in a small Swiss town, This splendid collection of 47 entries reveals a complex and non-monolithic African American world-view ranging from U.S. frontier exploration to Pan-Africanism. Alongside James Baldwin, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, and Claude McKay writing about Paris, Mexico, Africa, and Russia.

  3. African American Travel Narratives from Abroad: Mobility and Cultural Work in the Age of Jim Crow Paperback by Gary Totten. In this book, Gary Totten examines the global travel narratives of a diverse set of African American writers, including Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, Matthew Henson, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Zora Neale Hurston. Totten demonstrates how these travelers and their writings challenged dominant ideologies about African American experience, expression, and identity in a period of escalating racial violence.

  4. The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors by James E. Mills The nation’s wild places—from national and state parks to national forests, preserves, and wilderness areas—belong to all Americans. But not all of us use these resources equally. Minority populations are much less likely to seek recreation, adventure, and solace in our wilderness spaces. Bridging the so-called “adventure gap” requires role models who can inspire the uninitiated to experience and enjoy wild places.

  5. An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie Tété-Michel Kpomassie was a teenager in Togo when he discovered a book about Greenland—and knew that he must go there. Working his way north over nearly a decade, Kpomassie finally arrived in the country of his dreams. This brilliantly observed and superbly entertaining record of his adventures among the Inuit is a testament both to the wonderful strangeness of the human species and to the surprising sympathies that bind us all.

  6. Kat Tracking Through Paris: A Guide to Black Paris by Kat St. Thomas This guide gives readers clear, concise directions on how to get to places of interest in Paris using the metro system confidently on their own without being taxi dependent and possibly avoiding any language barrier. There is a list of over 40 restaurants (soul food, African, West Indian, Antillian), African museums, Gospel brunches, jazz, reggae, hip-hop clubs and other miscellaneous sites.

  7. The Black West: A Documentary and Pictorial History of the African American Role in the Westward Expansion of the United States Paperback by William Loren Katz A revised and expanded text that deepens our understanding of the vital role played by African American men and women on our early frontiers. Inspired by a conversation that William Loren Katz had with Langston Hughes, The Black West presents long-neglected stories of daring pioneers such as Nat Love, a.k.a. Deadwood Dick, Mary Fields, a.k.a. Stagecoach Mary, Cranford Goldsby, a.k.a. Cherokee Bill—and a host of other intrepid men and women who marched into the wilderness alongside Chief Osceola, Billy the Kid, and Geronimo.

  8. Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors by Carolyn Finney In this thought-provoking study, Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans. Bridging the fields of environmental history, cultural studies, critical race studies, and geography, Finney argues that the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of the "great outdoors" and determined who should and can have access to natural spaces.

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