Journey Black Home’s digital nomads Jessica E. Boyd and Steven M. Hughes explain how difficult it can be to track down a Black-owned Airbnb. When the couple couldn’t find a Black-owned Airbnb, they decided to compile a comprehensive list of Black-owned Airbnbs to help other black travelers find safe lodging.
There are currently over 200 Black-owned Airbnb lodging properties in the United States, each with a profile showing the host’s name and face, an average guest rating of at least 4.0, positive reviews from guests, and the host’s response to positive or negative feedback, according to Apartmenttherapy.
Jessica and Hughes gained media attention when they sold nearly 90% of their belongings in Columbia, SC, to travel across the United States in search of a new place to call home. Journey Black Home, the largest list of black-owned Airbnbs, was the result of their travels. Journey Black Home is also a blog that promotes Black-owned companies.
We’d been kicking around the idea of relocating from our hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, to a larger metro area for several years. When the pandemic hit full force in 2020, we put the thought of moving on hold,” Boyd told Because Of Them We Can, “but we eventually settled on a few new cities to consider.”
“In July 2021, after locking down for more than a year, we decided to look for a new home. To travel to Black America and live nomadically on Airbnb, we decided to sell nearly 90% of our possessions instead of just picking a place and going.
Due to racial segregation, the couple began their journey by staying in Airbnbs owned by people of color. In recent years, Airbnb has been accused of racism and bias by Black people who claim some hosts use racial slurs against them while others refuse to allow them to book.
Boyd and Hughes use their Instagram account to highlight Black-owned Airbnb properties to broaden the travel options available to the community.
Over the past seven months, we’ve kept in touch with many of the Black hosts we’ve stayed with. A New Instagram account, @blackairbnbs, will help “amplify the listings from our blog and share guest tips from the perspective of [Black] hosts to help [Black] hosts attract more bookings on the app,” Hughes said in a statement released by Airbnb.