Walking The Spirit Tours of Black Paris Combines Three Tours Into One Private Bus/Walking Tour Featuring Not-To-Be Missed Black History Sites Further Afield in the City
Walking The Spirit Tours of Black Paris has added a combination walking/bus tour to its line up of popular walking tours. In just five hours, the Spirit of Black Paris tour presents an exceptional opportunity to visualize the lesser known Black Paris experience over a wider geographic area that includes many iconic sites, streets and monuments.
While Paris is best explored on foot, the Spirit of Black Paris walking/bus tour option satisfies the growing desire of participants to take in a more complete view of Black Paris in less than a full day and with less physical effort.
Clients are picked up at their hotel in a spacious, air-conditioned vehicle.
"There are unfortunately very few concrete markers honoring the expatriates," says company founder and tour creator Julia Browne. "But as we weave our way through the city, our stories take participants back onto the Paris stage where the achievements and challenges played out. We help tie together the mutually beneficial Black - French cultural exchange."
The Paris landscape plays an integral part in the storytelling. On the majestic Champs-Elysèes avenue, the story of Josephine Baker's shocking first show is told at the actual theatre site; also pointed out is Sally Hemings' former residence. In the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe, the first Black aviator, Eugene Bullard, and the WWI soldiers are celebrated. Passing the prestigious Grand and Petit Palais museums is occasion to delight in the exhibitions that, without prejudice, displayed the growing talents of Elizabeth Prophet, Meta Vaux Warrick and Lois Mailou Jones.
When the bus heads uphill to Lower Montmartre, the vibrant atmosphere of Black Montmartre of the 1920s is recreated through lively anecdotes about megastar jazzman Sidney Bechet, entertainer Bricktop, the 'in' Black-owned clubs, but also a young Langston Hughes, and the coming together of the African and African-American cultures for the first time.
After the 2 1/2 hour bus ride, participants stroll through the lively ambiance of the Latin Quarter's narrow streets, through a busy open air market and into the arts district of St.Germain-des-Pres. Along the way they pass the former homes and haunts of writers James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Claude McKay and Chester Himes. They browse the art gallery district frequented by Henry O.Tanner, Palmer Hayden, Romare Bearden, Beauford Delaney, and Hale Woodruff. They also share in the personal successes of Beboppers Miles Davis and Bud Powell who became French film icons. And theatre-lovers will enjoy saluting the European triumph of legendary 19th century actor Ira Aldridge.
If personal mobility, time or weather are a concern, this excursion can be taken as a 3.5 hour bus tour. As in the five-hour version, there is opportunity to disembark for photos at key places such as Josephine Baker Square and the Richard Wright marker.
Without losing any of their personal touch, Spirit of Black Paris bus and bus/walking tours cater to all group sizes - twosomes, small families, groups of friends, and university or professional groups of up to forty. "Call these curbside lectures of the most engaging type, if you will," says Julia Browne. "We love a great discussion, and encourage guests to interact and input their own knowledge and questions."
Walking The Spirit Tours of Black Paris are especially proud to have mapped out and conducted the bus tour for the Toni Morrison Society Conference of November 2010. All tours are available year-round.
About Walking The Spirit Tours
Walking The Spirit Tours is the oldest running Black history tour company in Paris. Since 1994 they have given high-quality, educational tours focusing on Black Paris of yesterday and today, including Africa In Paris. The series of tours are thoroughly enjoyed by individuals, schools and organizations of all backgrounds and cultures. Browne and her Paris-based guides are dynamic specialists who make this lesser known side of Paris history stimulating and fun.
Walking The Spirit Tours continues to foster appreciation of the Black & French cultural exchange through lectures and the creation of personalized itineraries.
For more information and pricing, please visit www.walkingthespirit.com. Also, all are invited to join their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/wtstours.blackparisandbeyond) for events, people, fun and discovery.
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