While in Paris during the Christmas Holiday of 2016, I wanted to take advantage of some different tours offered of the Paris I adore. It was the perfect opportunity to partake in the Black Paris Tours.

Arranging the Black Paris Tour was quite easy. There are two options – a  half day tour and a full day tour. If  you want the adventure of a daylong immersion in the Black Paris perspective choose the full day, which includes dinner in Little Africa. I had no  idea of what to expect…however I was onboard for the journey.

The day started out at a wonderful restaurant with up close and personal views of the Arc de Triomphe. Breathtaking does not describe  how awesome this was and we were just getting started. Warm croissants, coffee, tea, and conversations with the other tour members was how we started the day. Our guide informed us on how the tour would take us from foot to bus to Metro. We were all ears and ready to bundle up and get started with our day.

Starting our Black Paris Tour with Miguel Overton Guerra, Our Guide on the Black Paris Tour.

Miguel Overton Guerra, Black Paris Tours, shared little known facts about the African American’s presence in the military history of France. The story of the Harlem Hell Fighters was amazing!We also discovered how this wonderful obelisk traveled across the waters as a gift to France..Let me tell you – getting to see this so close, meant sticking close together as we weathered the traffic. Getting through traffic requires one to be very alert, attentive and aware!

Our guide Miguel took us to the Church that hosted the funeral of Josephine Baker. Madeleine Church was undergoing exterior renovations at the time of our visit. Knowing that I stood on the steps where many paid their respects to this woman of color who persisted, despite the odds, was amazing! Although exterior work was being performed that did not allow great views outside, the interior was simply amazing.

Interior of Madeleine Church were the ceremony of life was held for Josephine Baker.

One thing I must mention, the Madeleine Church has always welcomed a diverse congregation and still does today. Merci to the ministry of this beautiful Church.

Miguel had us board a bus and we traveled to visit with the monuments honoring Alexandre Dumas.  All along the way our guide pointed out other points of interest to explore on our own. Arriving in the neighborhood where the Dumas family called home was quite a treat.  Knowing that this Haitian man has left memorable literature of note to readers all around the globe is just amazing.

Miguel shared the story of the area where The Dumas family lived.

The statue was amazing.

The statue of Alexandre Dumas…

Then …we looked closer at the monument of this well-known author of the times…as well as today…Upon closer inspection one can see one of the Three Musketeers.  Imagining that a man of Color wrote one of the well-known classics is simply amazing.

Art in the park near the statue of Alexandre Dumas that speaks to the breaking of the chains of slavery …simply awesome!

One of the last stops before dining was at Parc Monceau.

Aren’t these gilded gates magnificent!!

Oh the gilded gates that welcomed many African-Americans and even housed an author of note in the maids chambers.

Yes it was cold, but a beautiful time had by all. Nothing like feeding the mind as well as the soul when traveling….

When we left Parc Monceau after hearing many stories of how this Parc was a well visited place for African-Americans in the Arts, we headed further into Little Africa.  Admiring the beauty of this Parc in the midst of winter, I can see how it’s beauty captured the hearts of its visitors. In Little Africa, we dined in community with others from Senegal and I must say the food was divine.  The defining touch was the hibiscus tea…..delightful! Out of the respect for the restaurateur, we did not take photo’s. If you want a fantastic meal in an authentic restaurant, go to Little Africa or better yet, take the full day tour with Black Paris Tours.

Considering traveling to Paris, partake in the Black Paris Tours.  I guarantee that you will find out some interesting things you might not know about. Henry O. Tanner knew about the awakening that Paris provides and has provided throughout history to people of Color.

Thank you Ricki Stevenson for providing such great information on African-American milestones in Parisian history.

Memories as I sit in my Paris apartment…yet again…..

Teri, Cottage In The Court

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