Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: January/February 2024
By: Gloria & Solomon Herbert

If there were an extraordinarily compelling moment in time  for African -Americans to tell their own stories, more than ever, it is NOW!

On July 4, 2026, something phenomenal will occur in our country and we are all positioned to be a significant part of it. On that day, the U.S.A. will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence……. the Semiquincentennial.

Already the eyes of the world are strongly focused on this nation as the country prepares to celebrate this momentous occasion. Reports from international sources indicate online and other searches regarding America’s history are at an all-time high. Thoroughly intertwined in the making of this country is the story of African-Americans who were brought to this land involuntarily and who in innumerable ways have touched every aspect of its development.

As a part of the increasing global attention being given to U.S. heritage, there is also growing curiosity about the “Culture of Color.” With Black Panther and Wakanda Foreverrecognized among the top grossing films in cinema history, and the popularity of award-winning movies such as One Night in Miami, Green Book and If Beale Street Could Talk, recent polls and surveys confirm the most pronounced interest in African-American culture since 1977, when Alex Haley’s classic, the original “Roots,” and the T.V. mini-series it spawned, created a wave of heightened awareness about African-American history and all things related (i.e. music, food, traditions, etc.).

U.S. news headlines that continue to report events regarding police killings of unarmed African-Americans and the blatant efforts of elected government officials to alter or erase African-American history have served to further raise questions regarding the roles and status of Blacks in this country. In a recent PBS interview, Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the New York Times number one best-selling novel, The Water Dancer, suggests that after over 400 years of misinformation, or no information, the world is eager to learn the truth about Africans in America.

The U.S, Semiquincentennial provides the ideal platform for this truth to be known and the many stories of  HOPE and PROMISE that are tied into it, to be told.


John Garrison Marks, author of Black Freedom in the Age of Slavery: Race, Status, and Identity in the Urban America, recently said in TIME magazine, "Beyond simply celebrating the Revolution the Semiquincentennial commemoration is   also an opportunity to share American history that fully explores the diverse people and complex events of our country’s past."


Honoring the Legacy of those Who have Gone Before Us

Enter Black  America 250 ™…..

The publishers of BLACK MEETINGS & TOURISMmagazine (BM&T) with endorsements from the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD), the Travel Professionals of Color (TPOC), the National Policy Alliance (NPA), and MOJO Marketing + PR,  have launched.   Black  America   250  ™  ,  a multiyear media and marketing initiative which showcases  the legacy of African-Americans in this country by amplifying the TRIUMPHS, RESILIENCY, and RESOURCEFULNESS that they have demonstrated during this nation’s 250 year history. 

This is in keeping with the mission of the non-partisan U.S. Semiquincentennial

Commission, created by Congress , ( P.L. 114-196 ) to design and implement "initiatives and programs that honor our first 250 years and inspire Americans to imagine our next 250." 

Using Travel as a barometer , the first component of the  Black  America   250  ™  i nitiative is an interactive website that provides an opportunity to SHARE and to HONOR African American culture and heritage, in real time, presenting Events, Personalities and Experiences that were and are still essential to the making of the United States of America. This allows Black America to acknowledge OUR LIVING HISTORY™, keeping it alive by telling OUR stories, with OUR voices, in OUR way, to a growing number of eager listeners throughout this nation and around the world.   

The works of renowned researcher and author Alex Haley, and Producer Wil Packer with his remake of Haley’s record breaking  T.V. series , ROOTS,   along   with New York Times   journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones’ riveting  The 1619 Project book   and Emmy award-winning documentary, serve to bring center stage the haunting and far reaching realities   about slavery in the U.S.  

Black  America   250  ™  showcases the profoundly remarkable resiliency, triumphs and accomplishments of people spawned from enslaved Africans living in America.

Creating Journeys of a Lifetime

From STATE to STATE, City to City, Black America 250 ™  connects you to SITES, VENUES, EXPERIENCES and EVENTS that tell the stories of African-American Artists,  Inventors, Athletes, Scholars, Educators, Soldiers, Entertainers, Writers, Scientists, and Politicians; history makers and contemporary Icons from every walk of life. Using Black  America   250  ™  as your online resource GUIDE, plan to visit destinations across the country that make their stories REAL and enjoy your Journeys of a Lifetime!

· HEAR   the Authentic Sounds of Jazz in Kansas City, KS, Motown & Gospel in Detroit MI's Hitsville USA,   true "down home" Blues on iconic Beale Street in Memphis, TN and all things entertainment in NYC, NY, 

· WALK   in the footsteps of a Nobel Prize winning King at the Martin Luther King Jr. national memorial in Washington, DC.

· FOLLOW   the trails of the  Black military rangers known as the Buffalo Soldiers who patrolled California’s Majestic Yosemite National Park in the early 1900s.

· JOIN  a team of black scuba divers in a community called Africa Town, outside of Mobile, Alabama to explore the recently discovered sunken remains of the (i)Clotilda(ei), the last known slave ship to enter U.S. shores.

· MARVEL  at the tenacity of survivors from the Tulsa/Greenwood, Oklahoma (Black Wall Street) Deadly Race massacre in 1921, as they display from the ashes of what was one of the most destructive mass murder events on American soil, Tulsa’s 7,000 square foot Greenwood Rising  museum which stands as a beacon of hope on the Global Stage, attracting   visitors from far and near.

Today travel is all about Diversity – Equity – Inclusion. Travel Industry reports indicate post pandemic patterns and trends show a growing number of travelers visited a heritage site or museum and/or attended a cultural event during their last travel experience According to Laura Mandala, CEO of Mandala Research:

·      “36% of all U.S. travelers say that the availability of African-American cultural, historic sites and attractions is either very important (19%) or somewhat important (17%) in their choice of leisure destinations.”       

·      A recent historic cultural traveler survey found that historic cultural travelers spend about 37% more during their stay then the average traveler in the US.

·      The survey also showed that historic cultural trips were more likely than the average to last at least seven nights and include air travel, a rental car and hotel lodging.

Celebrating 250 years of Triumphs & Accomplishments

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture In Washington DC and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, informally known as the National Lynching Museum in Montgomery, AL are among the recent Cultural/Heritage sites to join NYC’s Apollo Theatre, and other similar venues, reporting a significant increase of annual visitors coming from destinations outside of the U.S.

In July of 2023 at Charleston, South Carolina’s Gadsden’s Wharf – one of the nation’s most prolific former slave trading ports,  the International African American Museum  opened its doors to the public.   Dr. Tonya Matthews, the museum’s president and CEO states “IAAM strives not only to provide a space for all visitors to celebrate and connect to this history, to these stories, and to this art, but also to find meaning within their own stories.”

Whether following the trail of enslaved  Black Americans at the Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati Ohio, reliving   the life of a sports icon who for the latter part of the 20th century was identified as the most recognizable American in the world, at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY, honoring the legacy of   the famed “Red Tails” World War II Black fighter pilots at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum in Detroit, MI, or learning about the making of a President at the   Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side (scheduled to open in 2025), America is inviting the world to learn about its 250 year journey and the contributions   from people of African descent.  

Inspiring Future Generations

As important as; Telling the Stories of a Nation, Honoring the Legacy of those Who have Gone Before Us, Celebrating 250 years of Triumphs and Accomplishments and Creating Journeys of a Lifetime is, Inspiring Future Generations.

Which brings us to the second component of Black  America   250  ™ , the ELDERS to YOUTH platform which provides an opportunity for young African-Americans to create audio, video and/or written interviews of senior members in their family, church and community, telling about their experiences and stories passed down to them through the years.

Our history teaches us and challenges us all to embrace the words of one of America’s greatest “drum majors”, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. From his book, (i)Strength to Love(ei)published in 1968 he wrote; Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

During a speech given at Spelman College in 1960 Dr. King said; “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to KEEP GOING FORWARD.

T he third component of Black  America   250  ™ is recognizing living individuals, organizations and institutions that have contributed to the progress, growth and development of African-Americans during this 250 year journey. Black America 250 LEGENDARY TREAURE  Awards, (formerly Living Legend Awards) are being presented to select individuals and groups across the country.

Black  America   250  ™   brings us from the LESSONS of our past to the HOPE of our future, being, doing and having, greater & better!

Destinations throughout the U.S. hold unique and engaging, glimpses of African-American Heritage that could provide visitors with memorable and enriching cultural travel experiences. Allow Black  America   250  ™   to share the venues, sites, sounds, tastes, attractions, personalities and activities, in YOUR DESTINATION that represent the STORIES of the NATION .

For more information, CONTACT:

Gloria Herbert,