Travel can serve as the most direct, powerful way to connect to a person’s history and diaspora, a point particularly pertinent to the Black community. So, for Black History Month, Pinterest has launched ‘Find Your Routes
’, a curated Black travel hub
with leading creators and publishers to inspire safe travel, help people find places to connect, and shine a spotlight on travel brands and Black owned businesses.
The project is inspired by ‘The Negro Motorist Green Book’, aka ‘The Green Book’, which served as a guidebook for Black travellers during the Jim Crow era
. It provided a list of accessible hotels, boarding houses, taverns, restaurants, service stations and other establishments throughout the United States that served Black American patrons.
Travel is one of the top use cases for Pinterest, where people discover new destinations and adventures while planning their next trip so, according to Malik Ducard, chief content officer at Pinterest, the connection between Black travel and Black history was natural for the platform. “This campaign is intended to empower Pinners across the world to discover a positive Black travel experience on Pinterest,” he says.
Malik and the team at Pinterest are seeing that people are increasingly looking for travel inspiration as people use the platform to “create a life they love” - specifically, one in three ‘Pinners’ engaged with travel content in 2021. What’s more, a marked difference between Pinterest and other social platforms is that it is more extensively used before booking travel, instead of to post about what they already did. In fact, 85% of travel ‘Pinners’ say they use Pinterest before starting to book. Searches for ‘Black couple travel aesthetic’ and ‘Black girl travel aesthetic’ are up 130% and 82% year over year, respectively.
“Travelling as a Black person may not always feel safe or welcoming in many places,” says Malik, “but there are still pockets of seemingly undiscovered Black culture all over the world. Pinterest can help us connect the dots and find safe Black travel inspiration. We heard feedback that they would love to see boards curated for us, by us and that’s exactly what we did. The boards we created were authentic representations of what the Black travel experience can look like.” As such, Malik and his team intentionally spotlighted Black travel creator content that shows things like what to wear, how to pack, unique places to visit and things to do.
Partners participating in the hub range from historians to Black travel publishers to creators and travel experts. Some examples are:
- Smithsonian Curator, photographer, and author of The Overground Railroad, Candacy Taylor to curate Pinterest boards to visualise the history of Black travel in the US.
- Publisher Travel Noire, a digital media company that publishes inspired content for Black travel, will feature hot travel spots, vacation outfits and couple’s vacation aesthetic for the year ahead.
- A host of creators sharing travel inspiration, including 'Things To Do Solo In Cartagena Colombia', 'Ultimate 5 Day Itinerary for Montego Bay, Jamaica', and 'Restaurants to try in Brazil'.
Outside of ‘Find Your Routes’, Pinterest is also activating internally during Black History Month. The company is offering a company-wide event to help employees gain knowledge about the history, present and future of Black travel through the lens of Black Pinterest employees. “The company will come together to celebrate the richness and diversity of Black culture—from activism to how to be a more mindful traveller and beyond. They will also have opportunities to donate to nonprofits that support, uplift, educate and empower the Black community.
In Pinterest’s Black travel hub, every ‘Save’, ‘Board’ and ‘Pin’ leads to global connection on the platform and in the real world, according to Malik. “From seeing the first ever Black dude ranch in Bell Mountain, California, to watching a Black dance troupe in Madrid, our phenomenal creators and publisher partners have curated a colourful range of meaningful travel experiences throughout history.”