Stop Ignoring The Black Influencer

by Roni
Black influencer

I traveled to Russia in 2012 on my own dime. One of at least 100 trips I’ve taken over the past few years.

The Black influencer is tired. Tired of being ignored, tired of being treated less than our White counterparts, and tired of not being seen for the greatness we embody.
Why are we so tired? 
 

Ignoring The Black Influencer 

For years, the Black influencer has been ignored by most major brands. Even though Black travelers added 63 Billion dollars to the American travel industry, these travelers rarely, if ever, see themselves in advertisements on any form of media. Seeing yourself in media is something White people take for granted.

You are accustomed to seeing beautiful White women and men frolicking on a sandy beach as if they don’t have a care in the world. You even see this in advertisements for predominantly Black countries.

This is an ad for Sandals in Barbados. According to Visit Barbados, the island is 92% Black. If that’s the case, why do most of the hotel and recreational advertisements feature non-Black people? Major publications from Forbes to Essence are bringing attention to the movement started by The Black Travel Alliance.

It will be interesting to see how brands react to this call to action. It would be so nice to be included in the campaigns brands almost always give to White travel influencers with much less experience than me and my Black colleagues.

It’s stressful being Black and well-traveled

Racism is not going to be cured because it is a condition rooted in people’s hearts. But you can be a racist and still hire me. It has been done for years. I worked for the “happiest place on earth” and had to leave because the double standards were blatant and egregious.

In my position as an Adventure Guide for Adventures by Disney, even after continually proving I was better than most, I was never allowed to grow. The feedback received was was even though guests loved me, there was a problem.

When I wasn’t talking and just sitting by myself, my face looked angry and it made the guests uncomfortable. I had to make sure that my resting face was appealing to the guests. No one else was told that. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions. 

I work for a major airline and I know many of the higher-ups are part of the good ole boy club. I don’t care. That’s between them and their God. Just treat me fairly, leave me alone, and give me my flight benefits.

Most dope things are created out of necessity

I care not how brands feel about my Blackness. I know my Black is beautiful and I know my work ethic is excellent. It is tiring always being overlooked, so I stopped applying for campaigns. For that reason I started pitching on my own, and almost any partnership I have, I have gotten because I pitched on my own behalf. I became so good at pitching that I started writing pitches for other people.
In time, I created a video pitching course that  helps others pitch to brands. I am happy to say that my pitches have gotten thousands of dollars worth of work for influencers, and I’m proud of that.
Black influencer
 
Black influencers are dope. We have loyal audiences who trust us. It’s crazy that people still think that Black people don’t like nice things (that’s what many brands believe), and/or we can’t deliver top quality content. If you don’t know about Black Travel Influencers, please read this post where 15 dope influencers are featured. 
Thanks for reading! Please follow me on my social networks. I post daily on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
 

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