Travel + Leisure and Travel Pulse called Martinique Lewis the Most Influential People in Travel, and now the president of the Black Travel Alliance will host Black Travel Across America, a new show premiering tonight at 10 pm ET on National Geographic and streaming on Hulu the following day. The new documentary traces the roots of Black travel in the United States with a focus on Harlem-based postman Victor Hugo Green’s The Negro Motorist Green Book.
Published from 1936 to 1966, the annual travel guide provided a list of hotels, restaurants, and service stations from Connecticut to California that served African American patrons. In this documentary, Lewis will take viewers on a coast-to-coast road trip to visit some of the historic Green Book locations that still exist today.
It also delves into common cultural behavior in how African Americans traveled in the 50s and 60s, such as driving at night to avoid being stopped by the police and packing food to eat on the side of the road to stay safe instead of stopping at hotels or restaurants.
Similar to the LGBTQ+ community and the power of the pink dollar, African Americans spend $109.6 billion annually on travel, forcing travel brands to take notice and court both types of travelers, especially post-pandemic.
Vacationer reached out to Lewis to ask if the new doc would appeal to the Black queer community, and she believes it does. “Black Travel Across America will appeal to the Black Queer Community because regardless of intersectionality before anyone learns anything about us, they know we’re Black. Which means in regard to travel, we have all the same struggle and success,” said Lewis.
She continues, “We can all identify with the story and how we as Black people thrived in places that were made specifically for us by us and celebrate those same places that in present-day still welcome us and have been created for our history and stories to be told.”
Lewis is the perfect host for the new Nat Geo doc because she’s the creator of The ABC Travel Greenbook, the No. 1 resource connecting travelers to the African diaspora globally. The award-winning travel consultant is a fierce champion working with tourism boards and travel brands to ensure that we all feel represented and see ourselves reflected.
Watch as Martinique Lewis hosts Black Travel Across America on Monday, February 6 at 10 pm ET on National Geographic. The documentary will stream on Hulu, the following day (Tuesday, Feb. 7), and stream on Disney+ starting February 24.