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The 7 Best Black History Tours All Over The World
The importance of recognizing the African diaspora through Black history tours has become all-too-important in recent years. As more people — regardless of whether they’re a part of the African diaspora — take an interest in Black contributions to world history, these tours prove not to be a luxury, but a necessity.
In fact, a recent study by the Pew Research Center reveals that these types of tours are actually outselling their “white” competition for the first time in recorded history.
“At a time when attendance at some large museums is flagging — 12 of the 20 biggest U.S. museums saw flat or lower attendance in 2017 compared with 2016 — the swirl of activity involving black history stands out,” they write.
Fortunately, it’s not just the United States that has such tours available. All over the world, tours that celebrate the contributions of the African diaspora are popping up everywhere. From the unlikely Black Heritage Tour in Amsterdam to a UNESCO heritage site in Tanzania, Black history is certainly worth traveling for.
“The country is changing. It’s looking at itself in different ways than it has historically. Museums help people make meaning of their own experiences,” said Brian Carter, president of The Association of African American Museums.
Without further ado, here’s our list of the 7 best Black history tours all over the world.
London's 12 Walking Black History Tours
For all its other faults, London has twelve Black history tours that give its participants a front-row seat to the African contributions to the culture, architecture, and cuisine of the British Isles. Each walking tour takes about two hours and covers everything from ancient African history to the modern African diaspora.
In addition to walking tours in the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection, London’s Black History tour can be found in the following towns: Hackney, Notting Hill, Trafalgar Square, Brixton, Clapham Common, St Pauls/Bank, Mayfair, Soho, Southbank, Elephant & Castle, Bankside and Docklands.
Quinta de Mocho — Sacavém, Portugal
The Independent calls Quinta de Mocho a “crime-ridden estate,” so you already know what that’s code for. Code words aside, Quinta de Mocho is gaining notoriety as an “open-air gallery” because of all the street art that’s easy to enjoy, and for free, as you walk around the neighborhood.
Museo Afro Brasil — Sao Paolo, Brazil
Afro-Brazilian history is just as much a part of the Black experience as any other symbol of the African diaspora, and there’s no better place to really see it on display than on a walking tour of the Museo Afro Brasil in the heart of São Paulo.
The Black Heritage Tour — Amsterdam
Amsterdam may not be the first place most people think of when it comes to Black history, but according to Martinique Lewis, president of the Black Travel Alliance and author of The ABC Travel Green Book, the Black Heritage Tour is a must-do when you visit the country.
“There are so many Black people there, including Surinamese, Guyanese, and Arubans,” she said. “It has some of the richest Black histories in the world.”
The Mississippi Freedom Trail
Spanning the entire state, the Mississippi Freedom Trail takes you to some of the important markers in the state’s Civil Rights movement, including the home of Medgar Evers, the Greyhound Bus Station, Mississippi State Capitol, Council of Federated Organizations Civil Rights Education Center, Tougaloo College, Jackson State University and the site of the 1963 sit-in at Woolworth’s.
Stone Town Walking Tour — Zanzibar, Tanzania
With a mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian, and European influences, Stone Town — once considered the capital of Zanzibar — has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most essential Black history walking tours you’ll ever take.
The US Civil Rights Trail
Using this interactive map, participants in the US Civil Rights Trail tour will see a variety of important places in the fight for equality in the United States. The Martin Luther King National Historic Park, the Elizabeth Harden Gilmore House, and the Hayti Heritage House are just a few of the more than 100 sites, across 15 states, that you can visit.