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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Apps to Learn Back History On Your Travels

I don't know about you, but I try to support and learn about local businesses in my home city and wherever I travel. I want small businesses to succeed and in particular Black-, Asian-, and women-owned businesses are at the top of that list. I seek those out at home and when I'm when I'm on vacation, so I know my money is going into the local economy instead of some big conglomerate. I also like to be entertained and learn new things, and download great podcasts for my plane ride.

For Black History Month, let's talk about the apps that can help you find Black businesses, learn  Black History, and celebrate Black culture.
Some Remember Sock Hops, Others Remember Riots by artist Theaster Gates

For Black History Month, let's talk about the apps that can help you find Black businesses, learn more about Black History, and celebrate Black culture:


This app features Black-owned restaurants and eateries. It's how we've found amazing places to eat near home and also close to accommodations when we've traveled. It's not exhaustive, but it's pretty good and worth the space it occupies on my phone. Bonus: you can get more Black-owned restaurant recommendations and learn when Black Restaurant Week is around the country on Black Restaurant Weeks


The app that helps travelers connect with others to share experiences while out in the world. While you can use it to find others who want to do the same tours or museums as you, there is a whole section called Global Black Diaspora History and Culture collection that allows you to learn more Black History on your travels and share those experiences with others who are also traveling at the same time.


If you're hoping to travel to other countries to learn history and culture, you may want to learn the language spoken there. Limited to some of the most spoken languages in the world, Babbel can help you prepare for your trip. For example, there are lots of countries with large Black communities that speak Portuguese as a the official language. Just a few of these are Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde.

A temporary exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

More Than a Mapp

Wherever you go, you can find points of interest and historical markers for Black history. Set you location in the app and then you can use the interactive map to point you to important places and then learn about what makes them significant through words, links, photos, and videos. (So far this is only available for Apple devices.)


This app, by CAma Marfo, a Black entrepreneur, helps make travel easier and more affordable for you by allowing you to pay an up-front fee and then pay off your trip in installments, ensuring that your trip is paid for before you leave and you aren't left in travel debt and not being able to to again for a long time.

Chizoba Anyaoha wants everyone to travel, so they made this app to help you plan your solo travels more easily and help you connect with others, all while feeling safe and creating awesome memories. They know solo travel planning can be daunting, and almost half of people surveyed said that creating a good itinerary was the hardest part of travel. You choose your interests and TravSolo can help you plan a trip in as little as 3 minutes. Let friends and family follow your trip in real time and feel secure meeting up with new people who are also traveling solo and/or share your interests.

This app, designed to help you find more black-owned businesses, was created by New York comedian Jon Laster. Discover restaurants, clubs, boutique shops and more where you can support the community either at home or away. You can also order items from black-owned businesses that sell everything from art to beauty products. 

Black History Quiz

Got some time to spare? Test your knowledge and expand what you've already learned through quizzes. You can't move on until you get the correct answer, so you can easily learn what you don't know. What a great way to "waste" time.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

The Root

Support Black writers by exploring the day's news in all genres, but also listen to podcasts, watch slideshows and more, right from your phone, all by prominent Black journalists that may give you a new perspective of current stories.

Honorable Mentions: National Parks App

While this app doesn't explicitly give you Black and African American historical information, the National Parks have been preserving Black history and stories for visitors. With over 400 parks, each having a rich backstory featuring Black culture and notable points in history, you can get outside and also learn more about this country's past with elevated multi-generational Black stories. Learn more on their website.

The podcast Fanti

Not an app, but part of an app you probably already have on your phone to listen to other podcasts you love. Fanti is a pop-culture podcast run by Black hosts who talk about fandom and other relevant topics that they enjoy, but effect the Black community and fans in an entirely different way than it's white audience (i.e. when you love the art, but the artist is problematic, or vice versa). The episodes are great for downloading and listening on long plane/train/car rides.

Other podcasts you might enjoy are Heat Rocks, Black People Love Paramore, and Minority Korner. Heat Rocks is hosted by two minorities, one a Black woman, who talk to guests about hot music right now. Black People Love Paramore features Sequoia Holmes talking to other Black people about things we don't think are that interesting to non-white people, like the show Boy Meets World, the band Fallout Boy, and tattoos. 

I hope some of these will help you travel more easily, plus educate yourself while having fun traveling. I know that they can really be a great addition to trips and help you fill in time with something educational, important, fun, or tasty. Minority Korner is hosted by self-proclaimed black nerd James Arthur M as he talks with other minorities about pop culture, news, media, and history. 

Share your favorite travel apps with us. Bonus points if they are Black-created or celebrate Black culture.

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