Ashland, Kentucky

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 out of 1 review
Things To Do
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Traveling While Black

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  1. Kelley Blackshear
    Kelley Blackshear
    13 Aug 2023
    Rating
    Traveling While Black
    Things To Do
    Adventure
    History
    Affordability
    Relaxation
    Local Food
    Romance
    Nightlife
    Traveling While Black
    Incentivized

    I was visiting Ashland, KY for work purposes back in 2010. We had a distribution center there so the population of folks were blue collar and hardworking. Overall my experience at work was great but I also work in an HR capacity so that could be why I was received with no problem. Two other white managers at the location approached me to go to lunch. Mind you I had not seen one other person of color working or otherwise. I was there for a couple of weeks so I was frequenting Walmart and other restaurants. So I agree to go to lunch. I had a rental car so my coworkers where like can you drive and do worry you can over the speed limit no worries. I already knew the last thing I want to do was draw attention to myself. Again did not see many of any other black folks. So we go to local diner, a hole in a wall place but maybe because the food is really good is what I thought. Keep in mind, this is the type of city where customers can still smoke in the buildings if you catch my drift. We enter the restaurant and immediately everyone starts staring. I would estimate about 15-20 folks dining in. The food wasn’t very good. I ordered a salad and it was iceberg lettuce (not appetizing/lacking any nutrients, 0/10 would not recommend). No black person in sight and during the 90 mins we sat and ate, everyone stared at me. It was the most uncomfortable experience eating in a restaurant that I’ve ever experienced now looking back. I even stopped to ask my co-workers who were white if they had noticed and they both responded no which I found disturbing. I immediately wanted to leave about 30 mins into our visit but rather than making a scene. I sat there until everyone finished there meal and we left. Unfortunately, my company had locations in very remote/ non-diverse small cities and my assignments were for weeks at a time. I would not recommend black folks go here or stop for any reason. Everywhere I went, I received weird stares and decided to remain in my hotel room most of the time rather than explore especially at night. There are not many street lights here, a lot of dark desolate places and houses/ building miles apart.

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