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Black Excellence: Black Woman Will Be Launching “Noirebnb” In Light of Racism on Airbnb #AirbnbWhileBlack

Black girl magic,Two tech start-ups with similar names, Noirbnb and Noirebnb, are launching temporary lodging services for African Americans as #AirbnbWhileBlack discrimination complaints mount.

An African-American man is suing Airbnb for racial discrimination, alleging it did nothing when he was rejected by a host because of his race. Airbnb banned a host in North Carolina last week after he used racist language to reject a 28-year-old Nigerian woman trying to reserve his home because she was black.

According to USAToday

Rohan Gilkes, a 40-year-old tech entrepreneur who splits his time between Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C., says he began working on Noirebnb 2 1/2 weeks ago after attempting twice to book a house in Idaho but being told the dates he wanted were not available. A white friend was able to book the house for those dates. Gilkes says soon after he chronicled the experience in a Medium post, his inbox filled up with people who say they, too, were discriminated against based on race, sexual orientation or physical disability.

“I felt a responsibility to do something,” said Gilkes, who hopes to launch the service in six weeks.

Entrepreneurs Ronnia Cherry, a 30-year-old marketing professional from Miama, and Stefan Grant, a 27-year-old musician and producer from Washington, D.C., say they rented a house in Atlanta while Grant was performing at a musical festival there in October.

“The next day the neighbors called the police because they thought we were robbing the house. The cops showed up with guns drawn,” Grant says. “Luckily we were able to deescalate the situation.” “We decided racism and discrimination were still happening so it was pretty much up to us to solve the issue,” Grant said.

Over the weekend, they announced Noirbnb.

“The response has been amazing and beyond anything we expected,” Cherry said.

Cherry concedes having two companies with such similar names is confusing and says Noirbnb is talking to Noirebnb about what to do.

“We haven’t reached an agreement but we are open,” she said.

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