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In many respects when African Americans travel, they are no different than travelers from every culture, says Nelson George, travel expert-at-large for BlackAtlas.com. At the same time, they are often curious to learn about the black people, neighborhoods, restaurants, and historical sites in a city that have particular historical significance to the black experience.
Black Atlas is an interactive, community-run social networking site that offers travel insights from an African American perspective. Visitors can rate content, and using blogs and discussion boards they can share travel tips about African American restaurants, music, entertainment and events from around the world. Users will also be able to create profiles, and share videos and photographs across different social networks.
The site is divided into destination/city-specific and category-specific information, such as travel tips, restaurants, nightlife, culture, arts and museums, historic sites, beauty and barber shops, and places of worship.
American Airlines developed BlackAtlas.com in partnership with the marketing company Burrell Communications Group L.L.C. (No. 4 on the BE 100s Advertising Agency list).
The site, which launched earlier this month, will also feature video blogs by George, who will visit 30 to 35 different cities in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America for the site. Users will also be able to make airline reservations on American Airlines from the site.
George, a prolific author, director, and television/movie producer has traveled the world covering music and film as a writer and filmmaker. Most recently he was the executive producer of the Chris Rock documentary “Good Hair.” He was also host of VH1’s black travel show “Soul Cities,” which showcased six American cities associated with black music, culture, and food.
George says it is not only important for African Americans to see black culture through a historical lens by visiting museums, but it is also important to see how black culture has been integrated into other cultures around the world.