Title of Paper

Tweeting The Black Travel Experience: Social Media Counter-Narrative Stories as Innovative Insight on #TravelingWhileBlack

Presenter Bios

Alana Dillette is an Assistant Professor in the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University. Originally from the Island Nation of The Bahamas, her research interests include various forms of tourism including small island sustainable tourism development, volunteer tourism, wellness tourism and more recently, issues related to diversity and inclusion in the travel and tourism sphere. She is passionate about studying travel, tourism and its impact through a critical and non-traditional lense.

Stefanie Benjamin is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee. She identifies as a critical tourism scholar with research revolving around race, gender, and power in tourism. Additionally, she is devoted to sustainable tourism; film-induced tourism; improvisational theater games in higher education; and PhD students’ well-being.

Chelsea Carpenter is an undergraduate student studying under Dr. Benjamin at the University of Tennessee. This is her first academic research project and she is passionate about issues related to race, ethnicity and diversity and inclusion.

Abstract

African Americans in the United States have long since been confronted with harassment and discrimination while traveling due to segregated lodging, restaurants, and other leisure activities. However, African Americans/Blacks are one of the fastest growing tourist groups. This work builds on previous research on the Black travel experience analyzing over three hundred tweets using the hashtag #travelingwhileblack through a Critical Race Theory (CRT) lens. By analyzing how Black tourists are traveling, this study reveals how experiential knowledge of Black travelers can contribute to the learning environment of the tourism industry. Three emergent themes were identified: (1) occurrences of racism (2) awareness of being Black while traveling and (3) meaningful experiences traveling while Black, suggesting that experiential knowledge of travelers of color brings different perspectives, that will hopefully, move toward eliminating all forms of subordination and create a more just society.

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Tweeting The Black Travel Experience: Social Media Counter-Narrative Stories as Innovative Insight on #TravelingWhileBlack

African Americans in the United States have long since been confronted with harassment and discrimination while traveling due to segregated lodging, restaurants, and other leisure activities. However, African Americans/Blacks are one of the fastest growing tourist groups. This work builds on previous research on the Black travel experience analyzing over three hundred tweets using the hashtag #travelingwhileblack through a Critical Race Theory (CRT) lens. By analyzing how Black tourists are traveling, this study reveals how experiential knowledge of Black travelers can contribute to the learning environment of the tourism industry. Three emergent themes were identified: (1) occurrences of racism (2) awareness of being Black while traveling and (3) meaningful experiences traveling while Black, suggesting that experiential knowledge of travelers of color brings different perspectives, that will hopefully, move toward eliminating all forms of subordination and create a more just society.