There are all kinds of travel shows out there, providing viewers with all kinds of tips and tricks for their future travel plans and vacations. National Geographic has a new twist on that classic formula, providing a new special for Black travelers in America.
National Geographic’s Black Travel Across America follows travel consultant, Martinique Lewis, as she embarks on a journey to visit historically listed Green Book locations and modern Black travel destinations.
National Geographic is known for producing incredible informative and entertaining content. This new special certainly leans more toward the former, providing an American history lesson on what led to the creation of “The Negro Motorist Green Book,”a guide to safe travel for the African American community from 1936 to 1966. The guidebook provided a list of hotels, restaurants and service stations from Connecticut to California that served African American patrons during segregation.
That history then provides the unique twist for this travel show as Lewis visits locations listed in the Green Book in New York, Kansas City and Denver, as well as some new locations with cultural significance. With that history backing up the concept for the show, it makes each location feel that much more important and viewers really get the sense that they are seeing key pieces of American history.
Unfortunately, the show itself does feel a bit rushed and messy at times. With multiple interviews taking place in each city, it tends to jump back and forth between them, rather than just finishing up at one location before moving on to another. Perhaps this concept would have benefited from being spread out into a limited series, as opposed to a one-hour special.That way, more time could have been spent at each cit and more locations could have even been thrown in.
Those minor flaws do not distract from the educational value of the special however. On top of the history lesson, Black Travel Across America provides viewers who may be planning some travel themselves with a great way to find historical and culturally rich places to visit. Again, more time in each city would have been beneficial, but with at least two historically significant locations in each of these great cities, it’s a starting point would-be travelers.
Overall, Black Travel Across America is a good, informative watch. It takes a format we’ve seen hundreds of times and puts a new twist on it, steeping the special in history and culture. If nothing else, it’s a great way to see some new locations you may want to visit on your next trip.
Black Travel Across America airs on February 6th at 10 PM ET on National Geographic.