10 Reasons Black Americans Need A Passport

06 May 2017 / By escapeartist
Black Americans Need Passports
Colombia million man march

Black connection

1. Connect With Folks internationally, You Need A Passport

It is imperative that we connect with other people abroad to do business, learn from each other and otherwise open lines of communication. ESPECIALLY in Africa and throughout the diaspora. I consistently hear a few things when I travel to melanated places:

  • "You are home"
  • "Welcome home"
  • "We've been waiting for you"
  • "Why don't more of you come to visit & to build with us?"

Unless you want to hear these via Skype, you need a passport.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

2. Trump Factor

In case you haven't noticed, the political arena in the U.S. is scary. If the defecation continues to hit the fan you want to be ready to leave if need be; there will be no time to wait for a passport to be ordered by then. And given the current state of white supremacy, shootings of unarmed Black men, murders of Black women while in custody and sex trafficking of underage girls and women going on (all of which are perpetrated by our police) there may come a time when you need to dip. Soon. And you'll need a passport unless you plan to swim. Oh and, Trump.

Donald Trump’s rise has coincided with an explosion of hate groups. Well, at least the knowledge about these groups' existence. The orange one has ignited negativity, hatred and utter madness within the 6 months of his reign.

"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading." -Chinese proverb

Passport power

Passport power

3. Passport Power

We are allowed into more countries than 94% of the rest of the world. Imagine being from a country where only a few other countries will allow you in. Or a country where only the elite are allowed to even have passports. Or having to spend your life savings to bribe your way into a legit passport. There are some places like the US Virgin Islands (USVI) where you do not need a passport to enter, but even those are shrinking in number.

There is such a thing as "American privilege", and yes, we have it. This is one of the few times we have privilege so let's put it to good use instead of squander it. Your passport is powerful IF you use it.

Learn more about how to get a passport here. After you get one, join us as we Experience South Africa! As an exercise, look around in your room, closet, etc. Can you calculate $135 worth of things you don't use or maybe never have used? Those worthless things cost as much as a document that will allow you to travel the world. Ur welcome.

Money from Indonesia

Money from Indonesia

4. Save Dough

The USA is expensive to live in, actually more expensive than 83% of the countries on the cost of living index list. It is so expensive that your monthly rent/mortgage here could pay for rent/mortgage in a comfortable place for a year in many countries.

Ever thought about leaving the U.S. for a while? Now would be a good time to do some research, and yes, you need a passport. Especially if you can 'work remote'. Imagine working remotely in a country where things cost 1/3 the price of the same items in the U.S. So in other words you'd be getting US wages but have 1/3 the expenses. Example

You make $60k/year in the US as a web developer, cool. You move to Thailand, and you keep working with US clients making that $60k. Now your expenses are cut in a third (on average). I know... BOOM.

Africa, roots

Africa, roots

5. Tracing Roots

Marcus Garvey said :

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots".

Learning your true history is extremely important but unfortunately many of us don't know anything beyond slavery. Sites like africanancestry.com (Black-owned) are a great first step to learning about your origins via DNA tests. The second step after tracing your lineage is actually going back to those places.

We went to Ghana in 2015, this is a trip that every Black American needs to take. You will learn a lot about the different tribes, who we were before maafa (slave trade) and what the culture & traditions look like today.

I am more than a statistic

I am more than a statistic

6. Don't Be A Statistic

60% of Americans do not have current passports, and that number is said to be much higher in the Black community. Let's change this. Even though the fact is we have some room to grow in this area, facts are not truth.

The truth is, we've been traveling this country and this globe before anyone else... (let that marinate)

Research the Olmecs. Research Sakanouye No Tamuramaro, the first Black shogun. Research the "green book" that helped early travelers get around in the U.S. Traveling ain't new to us, let's get back to it!

Cape Town. Mistake fares are great

Cape Town. Mistake fares are great

7. Cheap (Mistake) Fares

In 2015, together with I Love Being Black I went to 20 different countries. 20! Most of the time I fund my own trips, and plan them as well under the Escape Artist.

Many of these places were accessible because of extremely cheap fares we found using whatsthedeal.travel, like the $276 roundtrip fare to Johannesburg, South Africa. Often times these fares are mistakes (or gimmicks) that do not last even a full day. If you stay ready you ain't got to get ready, though. You need a passport now so you can take advantage when the deals come out.

So keep a physical list, preferably ordered, of the places you want to go so when a deal pops up you can pull the trigger!

Experience South Africa in Beautiful Cape Town

Beautiful Cape Town

8. You Are Safer Abroad

Chances are you are safer outside of America's borders. 62% of the countries on the global peace index list are safer than the USA. And it's very likely that we have many many more guns than they do.

Of course you want to read up on the current political climates and travel warnings, but you can pretty much spin the globe and find a safer place than the good ol United States of America, including many in Af-ri-ca! That last statement may burst a few bubbles... good! Maybe you will come with us on the Experience South Africa tour.

Shatter stereotypes

Shatter stereotypes

9. Shatter Stereotypes

Let's face it, the stereotypes built up about Black Americans do not just stop at our border; in many cases they get worse. What better way to erase them than to show up in person, like, hey.

Often times we have our own stereotypes built up, especially about African countries (or Africa as a continent). When you start to tear these stereotypes down you will realize how much you've been manipulated by the media. And, yep, you'll need a passport to do this effectively.

You may hear that everyone is starving there but I've had some of my best meals while traveling through Africa. You may hear that everyone is poor but then you realize the riches throughout Africa are limitless (unfortunately many are being pillaged). Let's kill these stereotypes and make sure they stay dead this time.

Kumi and Mbolhi

Kumi and Mbolhi

10. Find Your International Twin

Rais M'Bolhi is a famous goalkeeper for Algeria and he's my international twin. I've been stopped on the street in multiple cities in the U.S. and various different countries by people mistaking me for him.

And guess what, his dad is Congolese, and my DNA test says that so am I.
 I have yet to make it to Congo but I have a feeling that I'll see a few more brothas that look like me there. Again, you need a passport to get there.

Doesn't it intrigue you a little bit to know that there is probably someone that looks JUST like you walking around 10,000mi away?? An international doppelganger!! Do your DNA test, then go travel the world. You will meet this person one day. Then of course you have to come back here and tell us all about it!

BONUS

You Can Travel For Cheap!
 Getting a passport is not complicated at all. Start here, today.

Also check out the Travel More Spend Less seminar to learn the art of traveling for cheap without sacrificing in style.

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About The Author

escapeartist

I love traversing this beautiful earth as a Black person and sharing what I find with people. Building community is very important to me and one of the necessary pillars for us to progress. Thank you for reading my work, please share it with friends if you enjoyed it, or if even if you hated it.