February is Black History Month. Do you know how many of the 58,000 hotels nationwide are owned by African-Americans? There are about 700 African-American owned hotels and that number is growing, according to NABHOOD (the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers).
It was in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, where he highlighted the disparity in lodging when he stated, “…our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.”
Historically, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 helped pave the way for the continuing increase in African-American hotel owners by outlawing discrimination in public accommodations, among other places.
Fast forward to 2017 where King’s reality is not only obsolete but replaced with options for both luxurious resorts and hotels as well as comfortable contemporary guest rooms at popular hotel chains.
top picks for 2017
We found awesome suggestions from places like Essence magazine and The Root to narrow down our top picks to check out in 2017:
- Salamander Resorts: Couple luxurious suites with golf, spa and wellness, equestrian activities, and more. This resort is a leader in the industry and offers retreats in Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Virginia that do not disappoint.
- The Urban Cowboy in Nashville, TN, is a boutique B&B with a music lounge, creatively decorated rooms with clawfoot tubs and has a townhouse in Brooklyn to boot.
- The Runaway Jamaica is the first successfully crowdfunded B&B and offers luxe accommodations on the coast of northern Jamaica.
- The Wingate by Wyndham Mobile in Alabama is an affordable option for travelers at this hotel chain.
- Lastly, check out the Sonesta Silicon Valley Hotel (formerly Beverly Heritage Hotel) in CA offers more than 200 guest rooms and heated pool alongside its contemporary rooms.