This past Friday, August 3rd, American Airlines launched its venture with, the first online social travel networking site for people interested in African American culture from a domestic and global perspective. The private launch event took place at the historic Studio Museum in Harlem, announcing Laz Alonso as the new celebrity travel ambassador for

The event kicked off with a special press conference, where Laz not only explained his role as travel ambassador but also explained is about giving black consumers control of what they want to see in terms of travel. Seeing the world beyond how we know it in America while encouraging those who have yet to step outside their neighborhoods to see the world. As Laz notes, knowing there are “black people outside of the block.” was created to appeal to the needs of lack consumers who are avid travelers or who are new to travel by creating an interactive platform for its members to share and interact through video, commentary, photos, and blogs in unique way. American Airlines’ Director of Diversity, Cynthia Barnes, as quoted in their latest edition of HobNob Drive, their special travel edition, said: “American Airlines developed and implemented was in direct response to research that indicated that the Black community consistently expressed that they had unique needs when traveling.

The event officially kicked off in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Studio Harlem where guests sipped on specialty cocktails sponsored by Xante while taking bites from Harlem’s own Red Rooster Resturant.

Some of the highlights of the event included a special performance by the Rakeim Walker Band and a special live performance from the Grammy awarded songstress Melanie Fiona. Among the crowd were several celebrity guests, including actor Robert Townsend, celebrity gossip blogger Necole Bitchie, DJ/personality Amanda Seales, Renee Graziano of Mob Wives, and TV personality Tanika Ray.

– Coretta