Travel through the eyes of a brown westerner
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About Brown Passport

Being an Image maker (photography & video) & hosting a photography/video travel blog (Sammys Passort) I 'get out there' quite often. Every time I leave the Unites States, let alone everytime I leave my town, I learn something new.  What I don't see enough are black/brown (Western, especially American) faces backpacking, hiking, camping diving or trekking around the globe.  I know quite a few, yet every time I take a trip, I seem to be the only one, or surprised when I run into 'another'.  That is SLOWLY changing, and someday we will all see just as many shades of brown western traveling faces as we see of everyone else.  

     My first passport stamp was to Ireland (why not, I'm 1/4 Irish---Sweeney in fact).  I was treated as someone special. People looked at me but not in a way to assume I was poor, assume I listened to hip hop or 'spoke jive (yes a fellow American once asked me that), no. In fact, I was treated as an "American" not a 'Brown American'.  Even years later when traveling in Hawaii, I was perceived as a 'Haole' ('white person or NON native Hawaiian').  This may sound obvious, but for someone experiencing this for the first time, coming from a culture where you are singled out and expected to act, or be a certain way can be eye opening (understatement). 

     The name is of obvious reference, but also inspired by the actual US brown passport.  If you are an 'official' with United States citizenship, you are issued in fact, a Brown Passport.    Since there are so few Brown Westerners traveling the globe in comparison to their cohorts of (primarily) Northern european descent, I feel as though being brown we can be ambassadors to the world regarding insight on race relations.       

 Yours Truly

Yours Truly

 
 

about Brown Passport

     Being an Image maker (photography & video)  I 'get out there' quite often. Every time I leave the Unites States, let alone everytime I leave my town, I learn something new.  What I don't see enough are black/brown (Western, especially American) faces backpacking, hiking, camping diving or trekking around the globe.  I know quite a few, yet every time I take a trip, I seem to be the only one, or surprised when I run into 'another'.  That is SLOWLY changing, and someday we will all see just as many shades of brown western traveling faces as we see of everyone else.

     Traveling as a POC can in itself be a gateway to different more insightful lines of dialog with those whom you meet around the globe.  Often times local (mostly referring to local POC's or local not of Northern European descent) seem to wait for me to be alone or at least wait until there are only other minorities (or POC's) in the room.  They then begin to ask a series of questions or offer up information about themselves and their way of life that drastically differs from the painted picture on travel brochures and magazines. When I share these experiences with my 'cohorts' of Northern European descent, or an extension thereof (Australians, 'white' South Africans etc), they look at me with intrigue as to 'wow, hwo did you get into that conversation?'  

     I have come to realize that as a person of mixed race I have been 'privy to lines of dialog someone fro one side or another (so to speak) may not have been as privy to.  I have come to believe that if we were to break down these barriers and engage in open truthful dialog with one another cross racially, cross nationalities, cross culturally not only would we learn more about one another but int hat process begint o alter potentially damaging behavior from any party that we have been engaging in that has been keeping up apart. 

     The aim of this blog is to both inspire other minorities to realize their dreams and see beyond the barriers, work past them to attain their goals, and perhaps even travel.  It's also the aim of this blog to help all to engage more in open truthful dialog about often taboo subject matter that is far too often swept under the rug and only spoken about within small circles...like 'preaching to the choir' so to speak.  The only way yo truly learn from one another is to start by engaging in dialog with one another from different perspectives, instead of always from the same side of the street. 

     *The name (Brown Passport) is of obvious reference, but also inspired by the actual US brown passport.  If you are an United States 'official' you are issued in fact, a Brown Passport.    Since there are so few Brown Westerners traveling the globe in comparison to their cohorts of (primarily) Northern european descent, I feel as though being brown we can be ambassadors to the world regarding insight on race relations.