a Boston African American Heritage walking or riding tour
Travel through historic neighborhoods and explore memorable events that have shaped Boston into the cultural epicenter it is today. Experience the architecture and design of buildings constructed hundreds of years ago, and visit the homes of Black leaders, influencers, and trailblazers. Immerse yourself in the lives of Black Bostonians as they live, thrive, and transform their communities.
This tour includes:
- Beacon Hill
- The South End
- Lower Roxbury
- Nubian Square
Tour Points of Interest
- The Robert Gould Shaw 54th Massachusetts Memorial – The Memorial is one of the most photographed points of interest. It stands for the effort and sacrifice of the black solders of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, as well as their fight for justice and equity that remains ongoing today. Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens worked on it for 14 years.
- Abiel Smith School – Boston school discrimination against Blacks was going on in the 1800s. Then, White businessman Abiel Smith died and bequeathed $4,000 for the education of African American children in Boston. The Abiel Smith School opened on March 3, 1835.
- MAAH – On Joy Street, the Boston Museum of African American History is a national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. See 1600 Black Boston exhibits. Visit year-round for stimulating lectures and exhibits. MAAH has a companion museum on the island of Nantucket. You can reach it from a ferry at Oaks Bluff at Martha’s Vineyard. At Cape Cod, a ferry goes there from Hyannis.
- African Meeting House – Weddings and Black community events were held in the building event space in the 1980s. It is one of the oldest Black Church building in America built by and for Black worshippers.
- Bill Russell Statue at City Hall Plaza – Celebrates the legendary basketball player and humanitarian genius.
- Boston Massacre Marker / Crispus Attucks – Memorial honoring the victims of the historic event that occurred on March 5, 1770, in front of the old State House during the American Revolution.
- The Embrace – Boston’s newest $10M public art piece installed on Boston Common Park is a sculptured memorial honoring the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his New England School of Music graduate, singer Coretta Scott King.
- Mel King Sites: The honorable Mel King left too many contributions to the City of Boston to list here before he passed. The tour takes you to his Tent City complex that marks where thousands of protesters camped out and changed affordable housing policy. We pass his South End Technology Center, a location for the Affordable Housing Teaching Institute. We show you his Mayoral race campaign headquarters where he worked to become the first African American to qualify to enter the 1983 primary race for Boston mayor. He came up short in the final election. Mr. King co-founded the Rainbow Coalition with Rev. Jesse Jackson, an alternative political party in the race for President of the United States.
- A. Philip Randolph State at Boston’s Back Bay – Inside the Back Bay MBTA Terminal is a towering memorial statue honoring this civil rights revolutionary, Pullman Porter’s union organizer, and manager of the March on Washington.
- The Harriet Tubman Park – Visit this prominent place-marker of the Underground Railroad path to Canada. Here, Harriet Tubman soars among colorful flowers, comfortable sitting benches and the distinct bronze creation by an esteemed sculptor.
- The Malcolm X Home – Malcolm moved into his sister’s house after his arrival in Boston from his hometown. He got a job as a dining room busser with the Tremont Hotel in downtown.
- Nubian Square – Geographical center of Greater Boston and urban destination for Black art, culture, and business.