Date of Award

5-4-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Darryl White

Abstract

Volunteer tourism is marketed to be a mutually beneficial program where volunteers are said to gain personal development and contribute to developing communities (Raymond and Hall 2008). While white women are the predominant volunteering group, black Americans have a presence within this field. Black American volunteers are having racial encounters in their host community that juxtapose their skin color to their privilege as volunteers. Drawing upon the scholarly literature on transnational blackness, master status (Hughes 1945), migrant identity, and privilege, this project examines the experiences of black American volunteer tourists and how they negotiate their nationality and identity in their host communities. Using a sample of convenience of students who have participated in Morehouse College's Alternative Spring Break Program to Haiti, this project explores their experiences in Haiti and the ways that they engaged their privilege and racial identity. The black American voluntourists find similarities through shared oppressions and histories with the Haitians that they encounter. However, the voluntourists remain aware of their Americaness and it becomes the most important aspect of their identity while in Haiti. Furthermore, the voluntourists engage privilege as Americans—a new phenomenon for the students that represent a historically disenfranchised community.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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