The Black Expat is a much needed voice on issues related to global mobility and black identity. We highlight the rich, international experiences of the Black Diaspora with firsthand accounts, personal narratives and key advice about cross cultural living. Our contributors and staff reside all over the globe but have one thing in common – they’ve been impacted by a life abroad and have awesome stories to tell.
What is an Expat?
The “expat” label is frequently misunderstood and misapplied. Expats are usually seen as those who have cushy jobs that take them halfway across the world. Maybe they are wealthy retirees living in the lap of luxury. They might even be high government officials like ambassadors who live in mansions and dine with foreign dignitaries. Achieving the expat status is usually seen as mythical, glamorous, and unattainable.
But the truth is that the definition of an expatriate is an easy one. This labels applies to any person who leaves their native country and relocates to another, regardless of length of time, purpose, or rationale. That’s all there is to it. Whether you move because you’re a diplomat, an educator, an immigrant, a refugee, or a diehard adventurer, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re an expat. This label applies to you just by virtue of crossing international borders and setting up a home somewhere new.
Why the Black Expat?
There’s a fabulous Italian proverb that says, “If you can’t live longer, live deeper.”
Going from Point A to Point B pushes you to go deeper as travel impacts how you view your world just as stepping out of the known and into another culture changes who you are.
We live in a period of increased global mobility. International access through improved technology and advances in transportation allow more people to pursue professional and personal opportunities worldwide at increasing rates. And, in some harrowing cases, the desire for stability, safety and, a better life push individuals to make the difficult choice to leave home.
However, while there are numerous sites that explore travel and go abroad experiences, there are few platforms that exclusively document the black expat experience. With the black perspective so limited in visibility, we want to provide a stage for the voices of the growing number of black travelers to be heard. The other side of the coin is that there are obstacles, challenges, and moments of profound meaning that are unique to the black expat lifestyle. And we mean black in the most inclusive sense, from the Bajan who goes to the U.S. to study to the Nigerian entrepreneur who moves to Jamaica, and everyone else in between who may find themselves in Beijing or Tokyo or Amsterdam.
Becoming an expat is achievable, but it’s not always easy. Every place has its own nuances, challenges, strengths and benefits. But transitions can be made a little bit easier if you’ve got access to a little support and some knowledge.
We feature stories from brilliant and diverse members of the Black Diaspora. We’ve got writers who range from college students to seasoned adventurers, all of whom share their experiences of international living.
By openly offering lessons learned, the Black Expat team hopes to make it a little easier for those who are starting on their international way. Maybe we’ll even convince some of you to take the plunge. It’s always best to learn the good, the bad and the real from people who have taken the road less travelled. (Besides, someone needs to tell you where to get natural hair care products in Estonia!)
So we invite you to kick back, relax, and go on an adventure with us. Who knows, we might even see you in a neighborhood (or airport terminal) nearby.
Who Created This Tribe?
As a third culture kid, Amanda’s interest in navigating multicultural environments started young. In addition to managing The Black Expat, she is a higher education professional and counselor.
She is excited about all things related to education, travel, and cross cultural experiences. However, her love of mangoes, airport terminals and Makossa knows no bounds.
Now, Meet The Team!
A Third Culture Kid (TCK) of Lebanese origin, Dounia has lived in France, UK, Australia, Philippines, Mexico, USA and Cyprus. She writes about her experiences growing up as a TCK and adjusting as an adult TCK on her blog Next Stop, which is a collection of prose, poetry and photography. She’s also a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. Currently based in the US, she’s happily married to a fellow TCK, who shares her love for travel, music and good food.
Digital Media Editor
In between flights and new food recipes, Virginia native Justin Williams, is a freelance photographer and content editor. As a social justice advocate and passionate cook, he is often finding ways of exploring food security issues on local and global scales. He enjoys learning about people’s untold histories and bringing awareness to important topics.
Business Development & Operations Manager
Aisha Adkins is a writer from the United States, who recently returned from a stint in Barbados with her parents. This authentic storyteller is driven by her faith and a fierce love of family and friends. She is a full-time caretaker for her mother who suffers from dementia; however, when she is not a doting daughter or dreaming of a kinder, gentler world, she enjoys classic film, traditional jazz, and cookies-n-cream ice cream.