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TV Hosts Tai Beauchamp and Elton Anderson Explore The Black ‘Lens of Culture’ Through Travel

By Rachel George

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Studies have shown that the best way to experience other cultures and lifestyles is to travel. Black travelers have definitely taken the hint, spending a whomping $63 billion dollars on travel alone in 2018.

Now, prospective travelers can see other parts of the world through the lens of TV producer Tai Beauchamp and Celebrity Photographer Elton Anderson, Jr. on CLEO TV’s new travel series Lens of Culture.

Without auditioning, the fun, dynamic duo were cast together for the show, which premiered last summer. They’ve taken us on a journey through the jazzy neighborhoods of New Orleans, the soul of Philadelphia at the Colored Girls Museum, and the gritty streets of New York. The pair fully immersed themselves into cultural experiences in Puerto Rico and learned about the traditional history of batiking in Africa.

“I think the point of travel is to really expand your mind and your horizons about how other people live and to connect with humanity,” Beauchamp said. “To get a greater sense and understanding of people and I’m happy to go anywhere now.”

For her, Lens of Culture is like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown meets Girls Trip with your favorite guy friend, Elton.

“To have two black co-hosts on this show is definitely unique and something we haven’t seen before.  It’s an expansion of telling our stories and with young black millennials in mind,” she says.

Storytelling and beauty have been at the forefront of Beauchamp’s career since her early years as a journalist and beauty expert working with Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, and Seventeen, where she became the magazine’s youngest and first African American Beauty and Fitness Director. This is her third television show, but the first for travel, along with a producer credit.

Ghana was a rather emotional experience for her. It’s where she formed a spiritual connection with a young girl. For Tai Beauchamp, it was an honor to celebrate the resiliency of our ancestors, especially during the Year of Return.

“Being there and meeting a young lady named Mary really helped me to feel connected to my ancestors and my grandmother. I was able to meet her and now I’ve offered her a scholarship at an all-girls school in Ghana.”

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Love at first embrace. This is little Mary. The angel that miraculously came into my arms on the shores of #CapeCoast #Ghana while I was shooting #lensofculture. #Mybeloved grandmother Mary had made her transition just 2.5 short months before. I had barely mourned or grieved the loss. In fact, most hours, despite my smiles, my heart felt void and heavy. Being on the same shores that our ancestors likely departed to make the treacherous journey to the Americas, made me wish and pray for her more. I felt her presence so strong. And that is when this 12 year old beauty, who smiled so wide and genuinely, came to me and shared that her name was Mary too. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I walked hand and hand with her, feeling a strong magical force between us. As of next week, after a second chance encounter days later in a different area of Cape Coast with Mary and her parents, and through the amazing liaising of Dr. Yaw, one of our teammates on the ground in #Accra, Mary will be attending a new private school on scholarship from my family and I. I’m forever grateful. I’m forever humbled. And I am forever changed. This day served as a #beautyfullreminder that #MyMary is forever with me. Tune into today’s episode of @lensofculture on @mycleotv to witness the beauty, #love, #history, and #culture of Ghana which also marks the day that Lil Mary came into my life. #DivineEncounters #85toAfrica #Africa Captured by @eltonandersonjr

A post shared by Tai Beauchamp (@taibeau) on

Beauchamp enjoys the luxury style of traveling and Anderson looks for the more adventurous destinations, yet they still tend to push each other out of their elements.

Lens of Culture is basically our love letter to the viewers. Tai and I have already been to these locations, so our goal is to share an authentic experience with our viewers,” Elton shared.

Elton, a native of Detroit, discovered his love for traveling at 26-years-old when he received his first passport and camera. He moved to Brazil a few months ago to gain a deeper exploration of one of his favorite destinations and shares travel stories on Instagram and YouTube.

In 2017, he fell in love with the beautiful beaches and natural backgrounds in Bali, so much that he brought 25 of his closet friends the following year for an epic birthday photoshoot.

“Bali has such a lush landscape if you’re into natural backgrounds and getting away from the city life. You can get the best massage of your life for like $20!” he said. “It’s a great place to relax and the people are extremely hospitable. I can’t say enough about Bali!”

When he’s not traveling on the show, Anderson is still traveling the world capturing images of Tiffany Haddish, Jessie Williams, the cast of Issa Rae’s Insecure and dozens of other celebrities under his company, Creators of Color.

Next season, Tai looks forward to spending time in Africa, exploring the food and art scene in Europe, and launching her online e-learning developmental program, Beyond Ready at the top of the year.

As for Elton Anderson, catch his captivating melanated photos on social media. Who knows you may catch him in a cross country tour on his RV next summer.

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Rachel George

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