True Purpose of Black Men Smile® International Travel Retreats

How do we see ourselves as Black men?

To answer that question, we need to understand what goes into shaping our perspective of ourselves. Travel allows us to gain an understanding of ourselves outside of the stimuli shaping that view. We have come to accept and understand our role, our place, how others perceive us, but travel shifts that lens. It gives us the opportunity to re-brand.

Traveling to Cuba and other countries where expressions of the African Diaspora pervade the culture allows us to shift – or at the very least make more complex – our narratives. Seeing the impact of expressions of Blackness in different cultures helps us view our context with a different perspective.

Black Men Smile® seeks to provide a bridge between thinking about traveling and actually traveling. Our goal is to mobilize black men, especially those who have never left the country. We hope to one day provide passports and eliminate the barriers to engaging in a global, critical dialogue.

Travel provides for a very valuable learning experience, but it is also a profound bonding activity. When we subject ourselves to forced but willingly accepted vulnerability, a sense of tribe results. This trust leads to a transformative encounter.

-Carlton Mackey

Join us on the next Black Men Smile® International Retreat! We look forward to growing with you.