Ahhhh what was it like being in Black in Spain? I thought you’d never ask.
At 20, I studied abroad in the sunny and southern city of Granada, Spain. I had on rose-colored glasses. I just wanted to exist. As I traveled around Spain, Morocco, Italy, and more that is what it felt like. But there were times when people would stare and point at me as I walked down the street in Spain. Other times, I was being stopped and asked if I needed to marry a Spanish man for a visa to stay in the country.
At 22, I moved to teach English as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Logroño, Spain. As a teacher, I wine-tasted my way through Spain’s wine region. I planned the Spring break of my dreams to vacation in Greece. However, I also had to address the n-word in the classroom and became the face of Black American culture as my students knew little about it.
Being Black in Spain had its ups and downs – and obviously I liked it enough to go back twice! But living in the south then moving to the north provided me with two opportunities to understand some differences within the country itself. I am not here to disparage Spain, but I want to share some lessons and experiences. So, here are some things for Black travelers to be aware of in Spain.