Stretch your legs and your mind on one of these educational Black history city tours.
As October draws to a close, why not get your last bit of fresh air, before we hibernate for 2–4 months, on one of these insightful sightseeing tours? Each of these routes are designed to honour Black history and educate sightseers, all the while exploring London’s cityscape. Ever wondered about the African influence on the West End scene, or how people who moved over from the Caribbean were instrumental to our travel and health infrastructure? Wonder no more; your guide will tell you all you need to know on one of these Black history city tours.
1. Black History River Cruise, Temple to Greenwich
Take to the River Thames this weekend, on Saturday, October 23, for a three-hour return river cruise between Temple and Greenwich. Departing at 2pm from Temple Pier, the cruise will not only feature unrivalled views of the riverbank and city, but also provide a wealth of knowledge from legendary Black resistance leaders. As you sail towards Greenwich, you’ll hear from special historical guests, such as Phyliss Wheatley, General Dumas, Queen-General Yaa Asantewa, Warrior Queen Amanirenas and Olaudah Equiano. Topics will cover African Romans, art, engineering, Kings College’s Caribbean connection, the National Rail and so much more. On your way back to Temple, you’ll kick back to the melodies of Lover’s Rock and 90s soul. Find out more here.
2. World Docks: the untold stories, Museum of London Docklands
A day later, on October 24, it’s time to strap on your trainers for a 90-minute walking tour around West India Quay, London Docklands. This tour, led by author and historian S.I. Martin, will retell the real-life tales of African and Caribbean seamen who lived in the area, using prose, poetry, and extracts from newspaper entries. Find out more here.
3. Black History Walk, St Paul’s to Bank
Along this route, an informative guide will provide insights on how hundreds of years of African and Caribbean influence has impacted London’s architecture, secret societies, health systems and so much more. You’ll learn about freedom fighters, slavery and the transport system, to name just a few topics, as you stroll the heart of London. This walk takes place on various dates throughout the year, with the next one on October 31. Find out more here.
4. Theatreland Black History Walk, West End
Early next month, on November 7, is an entertainment-themed walk, focused on London’s West End. Your guide will reveal the hidden histories behind the stage, including the acting colour bar and US Civil Rights connections, as well as celebrate Calypso stars and famous Black actors. You’ll also learn about Black female producers, performers including magicians and hypnotists, and the campaigns to eradicate racist stereotypes on the stage. Find out more here.