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oct 15 2009

Black Atlas aims to be the Facebook of black travelers

Today, American Airlines launched Black Atlas, a site dedicated to connecting African-American travelers with each other.

The site is the first for black Americans to combine the reviewing features of a TripAdvisor-type site with the social-networking features of a Facebook-type site.

Nelson George, the well known music journalist and producer of the current hit film Good Hair, is the site's editor. In a series of blog posts and professionally-produced videos, George shows members of Black Atlas how to see the coolest sights around the world—and how to share recommendations with other travelers. A sample Nelson tip:

"Where does a brother get a great haircut while in Madrid? I got one from Coco, a 30ish Nigerian from that nation's Ebo tribe, who works at Sonia's, a black beauty shop on El Valverde, just off Gran Via. And of course, I saw a large window display celebrating "the Emperor de Pop," Michael Jackson, in all his glory."

Jaunted is skeptical that the site will become popular. But having taken a virtual tour of it this morning, we're optimistic. The African-American travel market seems almost invisible online if you don't know where to look. The community is not "marketed to" very well, which is something that officials from American Airlines say it hopes to change with this new initiative. Kudos to AA for trying!

Here's a sample, five-minute video of Nelson George's tour of Madrid, courtesy of Black Atlas:

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.


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