During the past year, many Black millennials have come forward, shedding light on the racist experiences they have faced when booking or lodging in Airbnb properties.
Clutch Magazine reports Rohan Gilkes launched Noirebnb when he was denied housing in Idaho from an Airbnb merchant while his white friend was approved. As relayed in his piece for Medium, Gilkes noted that he shared information about himself with the Airbnb host and was denied twice; by the third time the host canceled and ignored his messages. Because of this incident, Gilkes told Clutch he felt it was necessary to find a solution to the on-going discrimination people of color face when trying to book rental spaces on Airbnb.
While Gilkes plans to launch Noirebnb within six weeks, marketing professional Ronnia Cherry and musician/producer Steffan Grant also launched their own version of Airbnb after neighbors called the police on them for entering their Airbnb rental in Atlanta. “We decided racism and discrimination were still happening so it was pretty much up to us to solve the issue,” Grant shared. Since launching Noirbnb, Cherry notes the responses to the site have been overwhelming, even though the business is not up and running just yet.
But before either company can move forward, they have the settle the matter of their names’ similarity. Cherry told Select/All, “Initially we were ready to merge together, but we’ve had to take some steps back as a business to make sure it makes sense for us.” Gilkes shared similar sentiments and stated: “Merging is something that could happen, but if it doesn’t happen, we’re going to keep moving independently.”
Either way, we’re excited for either Noirebnb or Noirbnb to get off the ground.
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