You like reading? You love traveling? You’re looking for books written by black authors? Here’s a list of travel books written by black travel writers! Travel experiences are often shared through white eyes. This list offers a perspective we may not find elsewhere. Anyway here’s a list that will satisfy your thirst for adventure and possibly even inspire your next trip. Let’s go!
Traveling while black
You’re reading my travel blog, so I’m gonna start this list doing shameless self-promotion! I wrote an essay, traveling while black, telling what it’s like to travel the world independently as a black person and everything it involves (people who want to get a picture with us, those who touch our skin or our hair, those who assume we’re all rappers, athletes or prostitutes, solo travel as a black woman…). Click here to buy it.
The negro motorist Green book
The Green book was guidebook published every year for African-American travelers during the Jim Crow era, when racial segretation was legal. This guidebook allowed them to know where they were legally allowed to stay at night and hotels, restaurants and service stationswilling to serve them, etc. Click here to buy it.
All god’s children need traveling shoes
The author recounts the years she spent in Ghana, from 1962 to 1965. Maya Angelou is explaining how she tried to escape racism in America while also struggling to fit into African culture. Click here to buy it.
An African in Greenland
A must-read! When young the author was attacked by a venomous snake in his native country, Togo. During his recovery, he came across a book about Greenland and vowed to go there one day. This book is all about his journey from Togo to Europe, and then Greenland. It also shares the author’s daily life in Greenland. Really interesting! Click here to buy it.
Half Nigerian, half Nordic American, Faith Adiele can boast about being the first black Buddhist nun in Thailand. She tells in detail and with humor her immersion in rural Thailand and the hardships she faced (mediate 3 days non stop, seeing dead bodies, the absence of sex life…). Click here to buy it.
Black girl in Paris
This book follows a black woman leaving Alabama to go to Paris! She wants to follow in the footsteps of James Baldwin, Langston Hughes and Josephine Baker. She discovers the discrepancy between the idealization of Paris versus reality of living there. Click here to buy it.
Queenie is based on a black woman living in London, who comes from a Jamaican family. She’s struggling to fit in at work and seems to have bad luck in her relationships. It’s a book about feminism, racism and mental health. Click here to buy it.
Their eyes were watching god
The action takes place in the all Black town of Eatonville, Florida, in the 1920s. To put it simply, Janie is in the pursuit of happiness and love. We’re following her fulfillment as a free, strong black woman. Click here to buy it.
An American marriage
Celestine and Roy just got married. They’re young and beautiful. There’s a problem though, they’re black and live in the South, where racism is ubiquitous. One day, Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime he didn’t commit. During his absence, Celesting takes comfort in Andre, her childhood friend. Click here to buy it.
In this book, the author explains the origin story of her desire to see the world, why she’s always been fascinating by world maps, her goal to go to north pole and how her dreams shaped her life and her personality. Click here to buy it.
Richard Wright’s travel writings
Richard Wright comes from Mississipi but he lived in Chicago, New York and left the US to live in Paris in 1946. In this book you’ll find several essays telling his immersion in French culture. This type of immersive travel was innovative at the time. Click here to buy it.
We’re following Lori Tharps, a black woman coming from a small, mostly white town in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She leaves the US and moves to Spain. In this book, she shares what it’s like to be a black woman in Spain, and how she suffered from racism there. Click here to buy it.
A stranger in the village
In this book you’ll find several essays written by black travelers spanning two centuries. There’s an essay about the influence of Motown in Nicaragua, another one about black and brown solidarity from India or another one about Italian politics. Click here to buy it.
This is a collection of 52 travel stories written by black women. Women who traveled in CHina, Australia, Colombia, or the Caribbean islands. Click here to buy it.
The adventure gap
In June 2013, the first team of exclusively black men summited the US highest peak, Denali in Alaska. This book wants to show black people are into adventure too, and young black men need role models to look up to in the field of outdoor. Click here to buy it.
Afropean is a book focusing on European citizens coming from African families. The author travels around Europe (Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Moscow, Marseille, Lisbon…) to interview Afropeans and ask them how they’re experiencing their double identity. Click here to buy it.
Born a crime
A fascinating autobiographical story! Trevor Noah was born in 1984 in South Africa to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Despite everything, Trevor Noah tried to live a normal life, like the other kids of his age. Click here to buy it.
Americanah was met with widespread critical acclaim when it came out. We’re following the author who’s leaving Nigeria to study in Philadelphia. She realizes at that moment how her skin color impacts the way she’s treated, something that never happened to her back in Nigeria. Very interesting. Click here to buy it.
That’s it! Now you have numerous books to add to your TBR list! I hope there’s at least one book in this list that you’ll enjoy reading! Looking for more books? Here are must read black history books!
- Traveling soon? Check out my travel resources page! This list of travel accessories can also help you out!
- Never ever travel without travel insurance! Here’s why get travel insurance!
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- Always use a VPN when traveling. I use ExpressVPN and I love it! Here’s why use a VPN when traveling.