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Pulling Off A Girls Trip While Black And Abroad

It's well known that travelling while black in non-black majority countries can come with its pitfalls. There are the lazy comparisons to black celebrities, hostility fueled by racism and if you're a black woman, unrelenting fetishisation on the part of locals.

During a glorious, albeit booze-fuelled trip to Spain some weeks ago, I found myself struggling more than usual with the more blatant displays of racism tourists of colour tend to encounter in some parts of Continental Europe, as well as the wider world.

No sooner had we arrived at our shabbier-than-expected apartment block, an elderly resident, having spotted four black girls and a landlord attempting to devise a way of getting heavy luggage up the narrow staircase to our flat, began to spout what could only have been obscenities at us.

Familiar with the vitriol that being black and abroad can often inspire in people, but unwilling to concede to having received racist treatment less than five minutes after arriving at our temporary home, we told ourselves that the resident must’ve been angry for an entirely different reason, or not at all.