These 'Healing Retreats' Help Black Women Free themselves from Ties to Racism — Without Having to Face It

As a black woman, my bandwidth with white people is typically exhausted by noon on Mondays. Every aspect of my life requires me to consider race. Does my dermatologist know how to treat dark skin? Should I straighten my hair for this interview, or risk looking too "aggressive" by leaving it natural? If this all sounds exhausting, trust me, it is—but I’m not the only black woman who has to think about race in almost every aspect of her life. In light of this experience, there are now entire wellness retreats offering black women a getaway from racism. As the organization states on its website, the "Women of Color Healing Retreat" allows Black women to " recharge in a community safe space and environment built on Black love," according to VICE News.

The travel agency and other black-owned travel agencies have seen growing interest in black-only spaces since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, VICE News reported. Alexis Bromley, a participant in the Women's Color Healing Retreat, told VICE News that in her home state of Nebraska, she wonders if the people she interacts with every day think she's "low "etc" or "lower". Not knowing led her to seek a space where she could feel more comfortable, one designed specifically for Black women like herself.

Women of Color Healing Retreats states on its website, “Women of Color Healing Retreats was created out of a desire to connect women to nature and to provide a place of learning, healing and nurturing that often refers to [ sic ] black women space. . . To build sustainable communities that value the intersection of cultural identities, women of color must first rediscover their identities outside of a society that wants to hinder organic, spiritual growth and self-love.” The mission statement continues: “Women of Color. The Ethnohealing Retreat Center is a space for all Black women as they fully respect the diversity of Black identity as a place that embraces all bodies, all sexual orientations, all socioeconomic statuses, all political ideologies, and all levels of tradition or. A space for radical ideas.”

Participants gathered in Costa Rica for 10 days to eat vegan food, do yoga, and discuss their experiences as black people in the United States. The retreat costs $3,333, not including airfare, according to the website. Other activities mentioned on the retreat center's website include surfing and snorkeling, crystal workshops, a women's circle and a discussion about colorism, though the website notes that these are subject to change.

"It's like a mind game. I'm constantly being poked and prodded in these spaces [...] 'Oh, let me touch your hair. Oh, for a black girl, you're really Beautiful,” said Tiffany Jackson, a participant in the Women’s Color Healing Retreat, in a VICE News documentary.

Andrea "We need a safe space outside of the United States to have certain conversations," she told VICE News.

"The idea of ​​black women taking back control of their minds, bodies and spirits is exactly what we need to survive in a system that constantly tells us health doesn't matter," X told VICE News' Antonia Hylton in She left the United States in 2014 because she was tired of "gentrification, racism," and the daily struggles of black women in America. Now, the Women of Color Healing Retreat is an extension of X's daily lifestyle.

As a woman of color, traveling can be a difficult experience. But a space that meets the needs of women of color, while also providing space for women to heal from systemic racism, is a unique way to combine self-care with vacation in today’s world.