For Immediate Release: December 21, 2018
Media Contact: Nicole Peace | Travel@BlackGirlTravel.com
BlackGirlTravel.com and Bella Italia Founder Fleacé Weaver
African-American travel guru leads all-female tour to Paris and creates
ROMEBlackGirlTravel.com Founder Fleacé Weaver believes that life is art. As shes done for the past four years, shes leveraged her birthday to create one of her companys famed international getaways. For the birthday, she and the African-American women traveling with her turned a trip to the Louvre into creative expression.
Earlier this year, Weaver whos been called the Pied Piper of African-American female travel was debating the location of her 2018 birthday tour. A sign arrived when music icons Beyoncé and JAY-Z dropped their new album, Everything Is Love, with both its cover and debut singles video, , artistically filmed inside the Louvre Museum. Weaver was most taken with images of The Carters and their lithe dancers (circa 220-185 B.C.), a Greek marble sculpture of the messenger goddess Nike standing on the bow of a ship, her body thrust forward, braced against the strong wind.
Wrote Voxs Constance Grady: Part of Beyoncés project over the past few years has been to treat art as a form of power: It is a form of focused aesthetic attention, of social capital, and of wealth given solid form. Taking over the Louvre means taking all that power for herself and for the black bodies she brings in with her .
In an instant, everything was clear, recalled Weaver. So many things about the song APES**T connected with my spiritmost of all the lyrics, I can't believe we made it. As African-American women, every day we wake up is an I-can't-believe-we-made-it moment.
The,Birthday Celebration tour-goers enjoyed the City of Light, taking in traditional sights like the Eiffel Tower and Palais Garnier Opera House with a BlackGirlTravel twist. But it was the groups visit to the Musée du Louvre that proved the pièce de résistance.
Showing that imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, cultural ambassador Weaver and her dozen Bellas recreated a scene from the which was filmed amidst some of the Louvres most iconic works. Just as Burberry-clad Beyoncé and her bevy of multi-hued, flesh-tone-clad Black women pranced in APES**T in front of the Jacques-Louis David painting Consecration of Emperor Napoleon and Coronation of Empress Josephine, Weaver and her travelers struck a similar pose. I also wanted to honor amazing Black artists by also giving them their moment at the Louvre, said Weaver. Thirteen strong, we boldly took a stance for Black art that we feel should be featured at the Louvre Museum. The museum and onlookers were not ready, but we were.
Beyoncé (center) and dancers in a scene from APES**T video.
Weaver and her Bellas strike a pose at the Louvre displaying framed photographs of the following Black artists, recommended by Rome-based African-American author Dr. Tamara Pizzoli (above, from left to right): Jack Whitten, Manzi Jackson, Nicholle Kobi, Shadra Strickland, Jamilla Okubo, Paul Lewin, Amy Sherald, Lina Iris Viktor, Harmonia Rosales, Tamara Natalie Madden, Jennifer Packer, Charles Alston, and master-in-training Noah Pizzoli.
Said Weaver: I wanted to give thanks and celebrate one of those moments at the Louvre museum, standing in the same spot as Beyoncé, because I tooand the other ladies in this photoare survivors that have become thrivers, despite the odds against us.
While at the Louvre, we drew a large crowd of people taking photos of us with the artwork. Quite a few people suggested that I not try taking the photo out of fear the museum would stop us. I turned a deaf ear to the naysayers and did what they thought would be impossible. I am always pushing boundaries on tour to create unique memories and cultural statements. We do NOT do ordinary!"
For example, during BlackGirlTravels 2018 Scandinavian tour, she encouraged her Bellas to dress like Queens of the Castles. They were told that no one ever visited these royal structures decked out as they did. The larger statement, Weaver said, is that Black women are queens no matter where we go.
In another example of #BlackGirlMagic, the Bellas transformed into mermaids during this years Bella Italia tour even though a local photographer tried to talk Weaver out of shooting these sea goddesses on the rocks.
And during a recent BGT trip to South Africa, the Bellas showed up and showed out for their safari tour in fabulous long dresses. Publications including Essence featured their show-stopping photos as an example of elegance in the wild.
When traveling to Ghana, Weaver and her tour-goers made a pilgrimage to the Cape Coast Castles haunting Door of No Return through which countless of Africans were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean as slaves. Wearing brown, she implored these women to drape red scarves around their wrist (pulse points) representing the return of the blood of their ancestors as they took part in an elaborate special naming ceremony upon the hallowed place.
These experiences get to the heart of BlackGirlTravels mission, explained Weaver. Our primary goal is empowering Black women, and travel is our means of doing that.
Through BlackGirlTravel.com experiences, Weaver has helped inspire a legion of ladies to fall in love with international travel. About 80 percent of the women who take these tours have never before traveled outside the United States. But once they hit the road with Weaver, theyre hooked.
For Weaver and the Black women who travel with her, globetrotting is transformational. Since moving to Rome in 2012, shes created A Black Girl in Italy, a private and already-popular Facebook blog offering a for-women-only glimpse into her life and romantic adventures in Rome.
Its all about Weavers belief in the power of global travel to radically reshape Black womens lives, both while theyre on the road and when they return home.
For information on the 2019 Paris tour visit: www.BlackGirlTravel.com/paris
BlackGirlTravel.com is an upscale travel club created by and for extraordinary, fun-loving Black women. Its goal is simple: to expose Black women to the beauty of the world and the world to the beauty of Black women. BlackGirlTravel.com creates unique, customized tours and meeting programs for groups and individuals. These global excursions are designed for young-at-heart, well-heeled urbanites interested in exploring new lands while indulging in international cuisine, retail therapy, and exciting nightlife. There are no cookie-cutter itineraries here, as each tour is custom-designed for the group and its participants. Everyone from seasoned globe-trotting travelers to international travel virgins seeking the security of a group will feel at home on the road with BlackGirlTravel.com, whose website is a one-stop resource for travel-related information specifically targeted to Black women.
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