For All Points-Of-The-View.
Looking for a fresh start, under-employed or in need of an exotic adventure? Follow the lead of 17 North American black women who decide their best course of action involves packing their bags and beginning a new journey they refer to as "Trailblasian."
Trailblasian is the brainchild of Canadian-born writer T.K. McLennon. She describes Trailblasian as a word she created to define the action of "black people moving to Asia to lend their talents, learn the culture and pave new pathways for the next generation."
McLennon leveraged social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to find kindred spirits who shared a love of travel and learning. The end result is a new book being launched at Book Expo 2014 in New York City on May 30th, 2014.
Trailblasian is a collection of 17 stories written by black women from a variety of English-speaking countries. This 240-page anthology challenges readers to re-examine their views about race, culture and globalization by walking with these brave women on their journeys of culture shock and reflection to arrive at insightful discoveries.
The stories originate in China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. They feature a variety of topics ranging from economic worries for Gen Xers and Millennials, to accidents and disasters of small and epic proportions, to unexpected love and new beginnings. These non-fiction accounts are expected to fill gaps in both popular culture and scholarly publications focused on Black and Asian relations.
In the Foreword written by Dr. Karen Flynn, Professor of African-American and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, she acknowledges her support for this unique and "groundbreaking book."
When asked what made her pursue the topic of Black Female Expats, McLennon, a former Instructor of Global Management atRyerson University and former Assistant Professor in the School of International Studies at the University of Ulsan, South Koreareplied, "I saw a gap in modern literature and wanted to fill it with a creative book that could be lent, borrowed, passed on or discovered by a little girl or boy in search of new possibilities. Our stories have importance and if we don't tell them in our own words, who will know the real richness and full humanity of our lives?"
With countries such as South Korea reportedly having 20,000 Westerners living and teaching in the public and private school systems, it would appear these trails are being blazed by Westerners of all shades. This trend of searching for opportunities outside of North America is not new and based on McLennon's research, this trend is definitely on the rise.