About Soul Of America
At Soul Of America Travel, we stand on the shoulders of the Green Book and similar lists published by Sleeping Car Porters during the Jim Crow Era in America. When our mission started, general travel guide books and travel maps only listed a handful of black heritage sites in New York City, Washington, and Atlanta. One famous travel guide series even advised people not to visit the South Side of Chicago. That challenged us to prove them wrong and enlighten the world about soulful black travel, starting with America.
We pioneered black travel content on full-color, themed, fold-&-carry city maps in June 1994. In sequence, we published Soul Of Los Angeles, Soul Of Oakland/San Francisco, Soul Of Atlanta and Soul Of Washington DC maps by GoWare Travel. They were the first maps of their genre sold by Barnes & Noble and select black-owned bookstores.
We published a Soul Of Dallas mini-map and planned to publish a full Soul Of Chicago map next but instead listened to our customers. In March 1997, we converted our 5 city maps and content for 6 more cities to our website, “Goware-Travel.com.” As such, we authored the first Black Travel website. We proudly presented the first web presence for thousands of black businesses and institutions across America.
In April 1998, we renamed the company Soul Of America Travel and renamed the website SoulOfAmerica.com. Our mission expanded to become the most comprehensive website locating and celebrating black culture in America.
After being featured in Essence, Black Enterprise and Emerge magazines and on BET, more fan mail came in. Fans next asked us to expand our content to the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. We gradually did and proceeded to win 4 consecutive Black Web Awards in the 2000s.
Soul Of America still draws inspiration from the Green Book and Sleeping Car Porters, but we also give shine to the many brave and creative African-Americans who invented or still play a huge role in developing Gospel, Blues, Jazz, Soul Music, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Zydeco, Soul Food, Creole Food, and Barbecue. Celebrating art venues, places of worship, historic sites, festivals, cultural sites, colleges, monuments, and many other black treasures will always be important to us.
Though true to our primary audience of African-American travelers, Soul Of America welcomes visitors of all backgrounds and geographies who want to broaden their travel perspectives by exploring editorial, listings, photos, videos, maps, and visitor comments about our heritage & culture. You would be surprised at how many of our white sisters and brothers like Soul Of America too. In that sense, visiting SoulOfAmerica.com to virtually explore African-American, Afro-Caribbean, African, and Afro-European culture is similar to visiting Chinatown to sample Chinese-American culture or Little Italy to explore Italian-American culture.
Whether a quick visit or deep dive into SoulOfAmerica, we promise insights and surprises to make your next trip more soulful and engaging. Lastly, we are happy to inspire so many new voices in Black Travel media. Its truly exciting to see more the general travel market appreciating black travelers and our culture.