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Race shapes travel: backpacking as a black woman

Black Women in Sports

Race shapes travel: backpacking as a black woman

By Nanjala Nyabola via https://www.theguardian.com/

In an extract from her new book, the Kenyan writer reflects on how guidebooks to Africa, with their warnings of danger, instilled fear in her – until a solo trip to Burkina Faso

The pitch-black night of the Sahara does not yield to the sunlight until it is good and ready, and when it does, it flees so fast you would think the place is constantly bathed in blinding light. Stark sunrises turn the giant dunes dull brown for a scant few seconds; for a handful of minutes, as the sun is creeping up the sky, the sand glows.

Then the sky cracks open and turns brilliant blue, and everything around you will shimmer in response. Until that moment when the blue scares off the dark, the dusty roads leading from Gorom-Gorom to Oursi, a small town outside a small town in northern Burkina Faso, are shrouded in the desert’s…

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Chrysalis

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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