Adventure People & Culture

Struggles Only Black People Who Travel Abroad Understand

So if you’re a black person whose traveled to a country that’s not predominantly black, or even one that might be, then you’ll may definitely gone through a couple of things anyone who is black and abroad has. Sometimes it’s offensive, other times it’s just fascinating, but we’ve all had similar experiences, especially when it comes to different cultures reacting to the color of our skin.

Here are just a few of things that you may find relatable:

1. The “So Where Are You From?” Question

image: Reaction GIFs

This usually happens when you’re in a predominately white setting, or around any other race besides black. You say Kenya, and some aren’t exactly sure where that is. If you claim you’re from Africa, the person you’re having a conversation with may attempt to impress you with his/her knowledge about Africa, and while doing so, may confuse countries or cultures. So this question can become cumbersome, and at times it turns into a mini lecture about the part of world you come from.

2. In some countries, they assume you’re one of them

image: Expat Panda

Until they find out you can’t speak the language, and realize you’re not one of them. This happens where there are different races co-existing  in one country or location. In South Africa, I would constantly be spoken to in Zulu before they noticed I wasn’t South African.

3. Your hair is a fascination.

image: Pinterest

We black folk are pretty unique, and the world wants to understand every bit of our phenomenon, especially why our hair is the way it is.

4. Straight up racism. 

image: Teen Vogue

There’s subtle racism, made by way of a joke, then there’s full blown, right in your face racism, hurtful insults and discriminatory behavior that makes you wonder if this world will ever progress it’s attitude towards race.

5. You see other black people from your region and you click like long lost bffs

image: Giphy

If you had met them in your region you would’ve just passed them by, not appreciating their ethnicity. But in another world where seeing your kind is a bit more rare, it becomes an occasion to celebrate. You greet each other hesitantly but comfortably appreciating the familiarity, and then proceed to have long conversations, feeling relieved to find someone with common ground, literally and figuratively.