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The Great Passport Race

With a sense of urgency more US citizens, (especially from marginalized) populations are getting passports than ever before!

The passport scholarship programs are opening up in urban areas all over the USA, taking a special interest in people of color, students with a 3.0 GPA or higher, those who’ve been to prison for nonviolent offenses and individuals who overcame coming from “abject poverty.” Those who have the greatest potential to succeed when studying abroad and utilizing scholarships, awarding up to $300 to be put toward a high school or college study abroad program.

The acquisition of a passport is the first step toward cracking the armor of systemic challenges to their economic empowerment and achievement of higher education. Travel also informs critical thinking skills with first hand access to world perspectives. All members of Black Coral Inc are advised to get their passports because our battle for world preservation is global. Americans have historically had one of the lowest passport ownership rates in the world because the cost of travel internationally was beyond most Americans with the exception of Mexico and Canada. However, in the last decade, the rise of access on social media to world citizens, the so-called “woke movement” along with the increasing competition between airlines lowering costs has created a massive shift in demand for international travel, and thus, for passports.

The fee for an adult passport book is now $130 and the fee for minors is now $100. There is no increase in the fee for a passport card or expedited service. In addition, the 1-2 day return delivery fee is increasing from $17.56 to $18.32 this is the fee rate as of January 10, 2022.The average wait for a passport is 6-9 weeks unless expedited which is 3-5 weeks wait. According to rankings from Henley & Partners, a citizenship advisory firm, the U.S. passport ranks seventh in the world when it comes to access. Americans can get into 186 international destinations without applying for additional visas in advance. Some things it is good to be aware about when it comes to having a passport such as, if you have been certified to the Department of State by the Secretary of the Treasury as having a seriously delinquent tax debt, you cannot be issued a U.S. passport and your current U.S. passport may be revoked.

Other important facts you should keep in mind are you might lose your U.S. citizenship in specific cases, including if you: Run for public office in a foreign country (under certain conditions) Enter military service in a foreign country (under certain conditions) or apply for citizenship in a foreign country with the intention of giving up U.S. citizenship. Also if you intend to leave the country for more than 1 year then you must apply for a re-entry permit (Form I-131) before you leave the United States, or your permanent residence status will be considered abandoned. A re-entry permit enables you to be abroad for up to two years long enough to buy property ,investigate business opportunities and get an educational start or learn a trade.

Passport ownership is very much based on income. If you want to know someone's status economically and socially the fact of passport ownership is telling. Approximately 37% American adults who make over 100k a year say they have a valid and unexpired U.S. passport (37%) – about the same percentage as those who have never had a passport at all (38%). Another one in five Americans (20%) have an expired or invalid passport. While of households that make less than 50K less than 20% have passports! But, even this is a sharp rise from the 1990s when only 10% of these households had a valid passport and most of those were immigrant households! So where is this rise coming from?

A recent Economist/YouGov poll doesn’t show any party gap on this question, as Democrats (41%) and Republicans (38%) are equally likely to hold and not hold valid passports so its not party affiliation. But there are economic and regional divides on who is able to travel outside the United States. That is also the case with higher education: a majority of those with only a high school education or less have never had a passport, while 60% of those with a college degree have one that is currently valid. One of the biggest growth sectors in the passport movement is African American and Afro Latino populations. Afro millennials understand that it is imperative that they connect with other people abroad to do business, learn from each other and otherwise open lines of communication. ESPECIALLY in Africa where the resources and manpower as well as youngest populations all reside with those who have historically been systematically disenfranchised the same way BIPOC people of the America’s have.

In fact many nations are calling for the social, creative, inventive,

and technical savvy of the diaspora globally to return and build the motherland. This call began in 2019 with the country of Ghana having survived its own economic downturn and seen its fellow African nations turn there backs literally on them they understood (within the zeitgeist of the nation) how the ADOS African Descendants of Slaves must have felt about Africa’s relationship and treatment of them. In Washington, D.C., in September 2018, Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo declared and formally launched the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” for Africans in the Diaspora, giving fresh impetus to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the diaspora. The year 2019 is symbolic as it commemorates 400 years since the first enslaved Africans touched down in Hampton, in the English colony of Virginia in America in 1619. The program also recognizes the diaspora's achievements and sacrifices in the time since that event.

“But what has this to do with the rise in passport applications in the Black community? In case you haven't noticed, the political arena in the U.S. is scarier than it has been for years with avowed white supremacists seeking public office and being treated as legitimate by American mainstream media.Blacks arent going to wait and see like the Jews trapped in Nazi Germany we know the minds of the racist intimately and know the terror and inhumanity they are capable of. If the “you know what” continues to hit the fan, intelligent people want to be ready to leave if the need arises; there will be no time to wait for a passport to be ordered by then for although white supremacist say they want us gone they cant exist without people of color. And given the current state of white supremacy, shootings of unarmed Black men, murders of Black women while in custody and sex trafficking of underage girls and women going on (much of which are perpetrated by our police using tactics similar to the nationalized police of the Third Reich;s Gestapo) there may come a time when Freedom loving Americans need to escape. Soon. And you'll need a passport unless you plan to build an ark”. (Paraphrasing from ESCAPEARTIST)

The USA is expensive to live in, actually more expensive than 83% of the countries on the cost of living index list. It is so expensive that your monthly rent/mortgage here could pay for rent/mortgage in a comfortable place for a year in many countries. If you’ve ever been frustrated about getting a business loan maybe the answer is opening your business in another country where your little dollar has more power? Now would be a good time to do some research, and yes, you need a passport. Especially if you can 'work remotely'. Imagine working remotely in a country where things cost 1/3 the price of the same items in the U.S. So in other words you'd be getting US wages but have 1/3 the expenses. For example let's say you make $70k a year in the US as a web developer, cool. You move to Thailand, Zimbabwe, Ghana or South Africa, and you keep working with US clients making that $70k. Now your expenses are cut in a third (on average).as long as you return to the US annually or Bi-annually you can retain your citizenship and invest in yourself. Exploration of the planet or the desire to do so is within our Diasporic DNA research the Olmecs. Research Sakanouye No Tamuramaro, the first Black shogun. Research the "green book" that helped early travelers get around in the U.S. Traveling ain't new to us, let's get back to it!

“There are places in this world where our presence isn’t viewed as a menace, as a problem, or even as an inconvenience. There are places where we are welcomed, listened to, appreciated, and even loved. These places can and do challenge us in ways we could have never imagined, but our very existence isn’t challenged.

We will have to do our part, by being open to learning new concepts, new languages, new ways of thinking and being. By being permeable. We will have to strive to be just as understanding and accepting as we hope to be understood and accepted. In the end, the tangible investment in passport fees, airline tickets, and lodging expenses pay off in that they remove the yoke of low expectations. They can release us from the snares of a society that thinks it’s got us all figured out. Most importantly, these investments pay off in options.

We must have the option to participate in our own society as full-fledged members or be part of the creation of a society that will not hinder us from personal greatness. But we alone have the power to create these options for ourselves. That responsibility – that choice – belongs to no one but us.A passport isn’t the antidote to financial woes or family drama or failing schools or racial profiling. But it is a door opener, an exit, a way out, an escape to the boundless existence – the boundless life – that we deserve as human beings. A passport allows us to choose our reality, be it here or abroad. It is now our duty to be first-class citizens of the world” (Earnest White Miami Times 2020).


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