Road Tripping While Black in the U.S. — Episode 17 of Travel + Leisure’s New Podcast
This week Martinique Lewis and Lawrence Ross join Kellee Edwards on Let’s Go Together.
On Let’s Go Together, the podcast from Travel + Leisure that celebrates diverse travelers around the world, we've introduced you to some movers and shakers over the last 16 episodes. We’ve met a man who made it up to Machu Picchu in a wheelchair, transgender activists who are stamping their passports left and right, and Black travelers who are breaking barriers — and records — like Jessica Nabongo, the first documented Black woman to visit every country.
On this week’s installment of the podcast, pilot, adventurer, and host Kellee Edwards is joined by two travelers who are passionate about road trips, but keenly aware of the precautions they must take as African Americans in a country with a violent history towards Black motorists.
Over the course of the latest episode, guests Martinique Lewis, president of the Black Travel Alliance and author of “The ABC Travel Green Book,” and Lawrence Ross, lecturer and author of “Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses,” discuss their individual experiences on road trips across the U.S., their tried and true routes, the history of Black travel in the U.S., and their advice to Black travelers contemplating their own road trips.
“As I say to Black people traveling anywhere, regardless if it's a road trip or internationally: Stay alert and aware because you are Black. You know what I mean?” Lewis told Edwards. “Unfortunately, we are born into the fact that we have to always be on the lookout. We all have to always be very protective of our space and how people perceive us, because we are Black. That is very real. Now that doesn't mean don't have fun, but stay alert and stay aware.”
The pair also shares with Edwards their favorite trips and historic Black landmarks from Los Angeles to New York, practical items every road tripper should have in their vehicle regardless of the destination, and ways to support Black-owned businesses around the country, whether you’re traveling or not.
Tanner Saunders is the Associate Digital Editor of Travel + Leisure.