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Black women’s travel holds promise and peril. From the Green Book to expat communities, Black people have always found innovative ways to move about the world. We share tales from short jaunts to life journeys.

Expats Experience: There’s No Place Like Home

Surely, Black people began dreaming beyond the American shoreline soon after their arrival. Centuries later, spurred by racist policies, a need for political and professional affirmation, and an expanded worldview following World War 1, Black people began an exodus to build lives in other countries, with different languages, and new possibilities. In this episode, we center the Black woman expatriate—growing in numbers in recent years—and the experiences that led her elsewhere.

Paris — Where the Black Diaspora Meets

Julia Browne, historian, travel advisor and tour guide, takes us back to Paris as a meeting place for descendants of Africa scattered across the globe, and is the author of three profiles for Pathfinders and Patriots. This conversation reveals her love affair with ‘The City of Lights.’ The natural progression was the Black Heritage in France Walking The Spirit – Black Paris & Beyond tours.

UBWS: What led you to select the three women you profiled for Patriots and Pathfinders-Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, Paulette Nardal and Ada Smith, aka Bricktop?

JB: Because the Centennial of the 19th Amendment is centered around the 1920s and the suffragist movement, I decided to look at women from that era. I immediately chose these three women because they had very different experiences that led to very different outcomes.

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Black Expats in Panama

When Charlotte Van Horn moved from Glassboro, New Jersey to Biloxi, Mississippi, the only people she knew who had spent time in another country had gone to Vietnam. Then she met a Panamanian, who she’d eventually marry, and the transition began.

“I didn’t even know where Panama was on the map,” confides Van Horn, formerly a legal secretary. She has since built a new home in a gated bedroom community near Panama City where she settled in 2010.

“Before I made the move, no one could tell me there was any place in the world better to live than the U.S.A.”

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