Black Creators is a special series highlighting some of the amazing Black women and men who’ve successfully used their passion and platform to unite our community.
Although global travel is currently on hold thanks to COVID-19, Rondel Holder has dedicated himself to curating unique travel experiences for Black millennials.
“I started Soul Society 101 back in 2012. At the time, I started traveling a lot and would always search, things for Black people to do in [insert destination]? or where do Black people hang out in [insert destination]?” Holder recalls. “This was simply because I knew that I wanted to soak in full experiences everywhere I traveled.”
So he began documenting his travels on his own personal social media. It wasn’t long before he realized Black people across the U.S. and the world were craving travel content and guidance from someone that looked just like them. He invited other Black travelers to join the fun.
“I started with my Instagram, to share my travel experiences and eventually to invite others to share theirs by using the hashtag #soultravel,” he says.
With Soul Society 101, Holder began creating a voice for the under-served Black traveler, providing the opportunity to be seen and heard on his website and social media platforms.
Since then, Soul Society 101 has developed into Soul Society 101 – The Podcast and video content, including his docu-series, Heritage Journey, where he traces his roots in Africa and Global Royalty, a travel concierge company where Holder creates personalized trips to Africa for Black people.
“Growing up Black in America, it’s fair to say that 90 percent of what I heard about Africa was negative. Some stereotypes and stigmas still have a lasting impact on people today, and so much of it has no validity,” he says. “I think it’s a disservice as a Black person, not at least to try to reconnect with the continent. We’re the only group of people who are displaced from our roots in this way, and many of us are still very disconnected.”
He’s visited over 60 countries and continues to push the culture, engaging daily with his reach of over 100,000 Black travel and culture enthusiasts, while striving to create more opportunities for young Black professionals and creatives to impact the world as global citizens positively. And despite COVID-19’s negative impact on the travel world—”Hopefully, in 2021 we will be back in action!,” Holder says—he remains ever determined to keep creating.
“My goal is to continue to dig into our uniqueness within our Blackness and share content that is entertaining and also makes us feel seen and heard,” he says. “Facebook and Instagram have the most significant and most engaged communities. My favorite thing is to see if people commenting on other people’s comments are learning and exchanging helpful information and perspectives”