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Jessica Nabongo finally completes her quest to become the ‘first’ black woman to visit 195 countries

Black Women in the News

Jessica Nabongo finally completes her quest to become the ‘first’ black woman to visit 195 countries


  • The Ugandan-American started her ambitious mission partly, in 2009.
  • She fully committed to visiting all the 195 UN member countries in 2017.
  • With 195 countries down on October 6, 2019, Nabongo is now the first Ugandan and ‘first’ documented black woman to visit every country in the world.

Jessica Nabongo set out to become the first black woman to visit all the 195 UN member countries in February 2017. She was in Bali, Indonesia at the time. She had already travelled to 60 countries nations before committing to this ambitious quest.

This wanderlust started at a young age for the first-generation American, who was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. At age six, her Ugandan parents took to London and Uganda. 

“My parents normalized it in advance. I think this turned into wanderlust because my parents never made a big deal out of travel. It was like, “It’s summer, we’re going to go to Mexico,” or “We’re going to go to Jamaica,” or “We’re going to the Bahamas.” Sometimes they left us and went and travelled. So travelling wasn’t a big deal or something to be fearful of,” she said in an interview with Airbnb Magazine.

Jessica Nabongo in Goree Island in April 2018 (left) and at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Bali, Indonesia in February 2017 (right)

Once she committed to her quest, Nabongo decided to take a step back from her full-time job as the …

Read More: Jessica Nabongo finally completes her quest to become the ‘first’ black woman to visit 195 countries


I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

Flying High

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