NoireBnB, An Entrepreneurs Response To #AirBnBWhileBlack

Image courtesy of NoireBnB

Written by Mike Orie of

On May 25th, Rohan Gilkes would document an unpleasant experience of trying to book a trip with AirBnB. The 40-year old entrepreneur, who splits his time between Tampa and DC would attempt to book a vacation trip to Idaho, from July 1st-5th, which would result in an experience known as #AirBnbWhileBlack. His booking requests would be denied; the owner of the AirBnB initially telling him the dates were no longer available. Gilkes suggested different dates in an earlier month and ran into the same problem. The owner denied his trip immediately. “Can I just book some dates in June,” he would send in another message. "I messaged them again, but they never responded.” But this wasn’t the final straw. He had just learned about #AirBnbWhileBlack and decided to have one of his white friends attempt to book the same space. You can pretty much guess what happened. “They were approved immediately,” he said. The July dates he was just told were booked would magically become available for his friend. Gilkes would chronicle this whole story online here. After the post went viral, he would receive tons of messages from people who shared similar experiences. In just 2 ½ weeks, this would lead to the launch of an African American focused booking service that over the last 24 hours has received a lot of praise on social media.
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