Credit: Sonjia Mackey

I’ve always hated being one of many or following the crowd, and being the sole representative for Black people gave me a unique voice and perspective no one could deny, and that they certainly found interesting. But the “sole Black face” phenomenon became exponentially obvious when I began traveling overseas to places where people had never even seen a Black person in real life.

And through all the engagements and interactions around the world, rarely have I ever been bothered or annoyed by any of it. Logically speaking, if the locals have never seen a Black person in real life before, then obviously they will be quite curious…and looking for ways to address their curiosities — a perfect scenario for a friendly and sociable person such as myself, who can strike up a conversation with anyone and who makes friends everywhere.

The part I love most about these connections? Helping the locals see that while we may have different skin colors, hair textures, and other physical differences, deep down inside (where it counts), we’re more alike than we are different.

And so I will continue to partake in these harmless interactions for as long as there is interest on the part of the locals. For these social connections not only provide them with a chance to explore their interests up-close and personal (perhaps providing a basis for reassessing any negative perceptions they held about Black people), but they provide me with a treasure of travel memories.

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