2-Hour African American Heritage Tour in Washington DC

4 Ratings
  • Live Guide
  • Instant Confirmation
  • E-Ticket
  • 2 hr

Meet your local Tour guide for an amazing evening walking tour of 2H and learn about African American history and heritage in D.C. Explore the U Street “Black Broadway” who was once truly the heart of Black culture in America, attracting locals and visitors for an unparalleled music and nightlife scene. It’s also the birthplace of celebrated DC hero, jazz musician Duke Ellington. Until the 1920s, the U Street Corridor was home to the nation's largest urban African-American community, this section of the city is as vibrant as ever, anchored by the lively 14th Street corridor to the west and the refurbished Howard Theatre bordering the Shaw neighborhood to the east, where a towering sculpture in reverence to Ellington stands. Food is eclectic and exciting. One of the best ways to experience food from soul food to Italian to the world-famous Ben’s Chili Bowl and uniquely, on the eastern end, you’ll the area known as “Little Ethiopia” for its concentration of residents from that country

Itinerary Details

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: U Street

Experience during a 2-hour evening tour with a local tour guide, the nightlife of the neighborhood that was dubbed “Black Broadway”, the U Street known for its role in the African-American jazz scene, where theaters and clubs hosted Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey, Sarah Vaughn, and Jelly Roll Morton and many more.

Duration: 2 minutes

Stop At: Ben's Chili Bowl Mural

WHILE MOST VISITORS FLOCK TO Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street for its signature half-smoke sausage, the beloved Washington, D.C., landmark also boasts a spectacular mural that celebrates notable Black Americans. The mural has been changed multiple times since it appeared in 2012, and previously featured a large, smiling Bill Cosby, Barack Obama, Donnie Simpson, and Chuck Brown. That portion of the mural was removed after allegations against Cosby, who was a famous frequent visitor to Ben’s Chili Bowl, came to light. For a short period of time in 2017, the mural featured a tribute to the Washington Wizards in time for the NBA playoffs. Then, later in 2017, local artist Aniekan Udofia painted the mural that stands there today.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: African American Civil War Memorial & Museum

The first memorial dedicated solely to the Black troops who fought for the Union. WHEN THE REBEL STATES REFUSED to rejoin the Union early in the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and created a number of regiments in the Union Army and Navy filled with Black soldiers. This memorial in Washington, D. C. honors those units, who faced particular viciousness from the opposing army and discrimination from within their own. More than 200,000 Black Americans filled the 175 regiments of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), comprising approximately one-tenth of the Union’s forces. It was largely through the persistence of the Black American community that Union policy on Black military service changed. Eventually, the 180,000 Black soldiers who served, including the 98,500 formerly enslaved men, provided a crucial service to the Union Army. Their names, and those of their white are inscribed on the Wall of Honor.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Howard Theatre

Throughout the decades, Black music stars have performed at this historic hub for music and the arts. THE HOWARD THEATRE, KNOWN AS the first Black theater in America, was founded in 1910 in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C., which surrounds Howard University. It was founded to create a space for Black men and women to be entertained since they weren’t allowed into the other venues in the city at the time. Its inception was revolutionary and would go on to attract a range of Black musicians from Louis Armstrong to Kendrick Lamar. Before the Howard Theatre gained its national reputation, it was known locally for its amateur open-mic style events and its battle of the band style contests. Prior to the Chicago jazz era and the Harlem Renaissance, the Howard Theatre was at the heart of musical exploration.

Duration: 30 minutes
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