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African American Heritage Tours

Explore Washington DC's rich African American heritage with these educational tours.

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Many of Washington, DC’s African American heritage sites can be visited on organized tours. There are guided walking tours, including Cultural Tourism DC’s “Before Harlem, There Was U Street – A DC Heritage Tour,” which highlights Duke Ellington’s neighborhood and also includes stops at the African American Civil War Memorial and the Lincoln Theatre.

Bus tours are an option as well, and Capitol Entertainment Services, Inc. offers an African American Heritage tour which includes off-the-bus stops at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s time capsule, the Supreme Court and the Emancipation Statue.

For a more personalized experience, try one of Cultural Tourism DC's Neighborhood Heritage Trails, a group of self-guided walking routes marked with illustrated signs that reveal stories of Washington's historic neighborhoods. Options include tours of Adams Morgan, Barracks Row (located in Capitol Hill neighborhood), Mount Pleasant and other historically significant areas of the city.

Pay special attention to Cultural Tourism DC’s African American Heritage Trail, which highlights sites that represent important moments in Washington’s – and the nation’s – black history. It provides the opportunity for DC residents and visitors to enhance their appreciation for the city’s rich cultural roots and the many generations of African Americans that built strong communities, churches and businesses throughout the city. Many of the more than 200 sites on the trail are open to the public, and all of them can be accessed at culturaltourismdc.org.

Nighttime is a popular time to see Washingtonâs monuments and memorials. The white stones gleam against the dark sky, and visitors can take advantage of the relative quiet to contemplate lessons of history and leadership.
Nighttime is a popular time to see Washington’s monuments and memorials. The white stones gleam against the dark sky, and visitors can take advantage of the relative quiet to contemplate lessons of history and leadership. - Photo by Johnny Bivera
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