The expression “Go back to Africa” is a racial slur often used against the Black community.
Only last week, President Donald Trump told four congresswomen of color “to go back to where they came from.” Three of the women were born in the United States. One of them, Ilhan Omar, is Somali-American, migrating to America at 12 years old.
The phrase has a long and complicated backstory – with roots in the transatlantic slave trade. Even today, it appears nearly 5,000 times a month online – often with hateful intent.
One travel company is has flipped the phrase positive.
Black & Abroad is dedicated to redefining experiences for the modern Black traveler, and at the sam time end hate. The travel organization has claimed the phrase “Go back to Africa.” It’s a pan-African tourism campaign – for every country in Africa – designed to reframe the story. It’s also designed to generate positive images of and ideas about African-Americans traveling in Africa.
“We’re proud to be changing the conversation during a time of global unrest by showing more diverse pictures of this rich continent and debunking negative myths and stereotypes,” says Eric Martin, co-founder of Black & Abroad. “We encourage others to get involved and rethink how they’re influencing or reinforcing negative stereotypes instead of positive actions.”
The goal is for Black people to see themselves in Africa and want to go there. Not because someone told us to. But because at its core, going back to Africa can be an amazing experience.
Black & Abroad uses a platform powered Google Vision and crafted by FCB/SIX to identify and gain permissions to use aspirational images of Black people traveling in Africa.
Black & Abroad also arranges trips for Black people to explore countries in Africa and beyond. It will be taking a group of people to Senegal in May.
Participants will visit Dakar, the largest city in Senegal, as well as other coastal attractions.