African American Heritage Trail in New Orleans, New Orleans

The Louisiana African American Trail includes 26 sights located along the Mississippi River. Our tour will take you to the places on this trail that are located within the boundary of New Orleans, the starting point of this cultural heritage trail. Though this is a car tour, most of the attractions are located within walking distance. So don't hesitate to take the tour below and learn the history of African-Americans in Louisiana and explore their traditions and culture.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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African American Heritage Trail in New Orleans Map

Guide Name: African American Heritage Trail in New Orleans
Guide Location: USA » New Orleans (See other walking tours in New Orleans)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Author: ann
1
St. Louis Cemetery #1 and #2

1) St. Louis Cemetery #1 and #2 (must see)

It would seem odd that cemeteries are a tourist attraction, but not for the city of New Orleans. The above ground resting places represent an important part of their history and display beautiful Spanish and French design. Two of the most famous cemeteries are Saint Louis Cemetery #1 and #2.

Saint Louis Cemetery #1 was established in 1789. It replaced the Saint Petersburg Cemetery. It is located eight blocks away from the Mississippi River on Basin Street. Many impressive people are entombed in the many crypts and tombs. Some notable residents include the Civil Rights activist Homer Plessy, Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, and sugar industry pioneer Etienne de Boré.

Saint Louis Cemetery #2 was established in 1823. It is located three blocks away from Saint Louis Cemetery #1 on Claiborne Avenue and has over 100,000 burials. A protestant section is also located on the grounds. Many notable people are entombed in Saint Louis Cemetery #2, including Civil War hero Andre Cailloux, Jazz musician Danny Barker, rhythm and blues singer Ernie K. Doe, and sainthood candidate Blessed Mother Henriette DeLille. In addition, the graveyard is the final resting place of several politicians.

Tip:
It seems like the church has closed the #1 cemetery to self-guided tours due to unwanted late night ceremonies and vandalism; however, you can book a guided tour, day-side (be sure it is led by a guide with a license to enter the cemetery and not just talk about it outside its walls). If you're not a fan of guides or tours, try the #2 cemetery, which is free.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9am-3pm; Sun: 9am-12pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Congo Square

2) Congo Square

Visitors to New Orleans can experience a bit of African Culture when they visit Congo Square. Located in the Tremé neighborhood in Louis Armstrong Park, the square was the gathering place for African slaves on their free day. Once slavery ended, free people of color began to meet there to perform music. Congo Square is the birthplace of Jazz.

The open area was designated by the mayor as a meeting place for slaves in 1817. Originally named the Place de Negres, the Place Publique, and then Circus Square, the plaza allowed slaves to honor their culture through song and dance on their free day, Sunday. In addition, they could sell their wares at the local market. The colonial French slavery style allowed slaves much more freedom than the rest of the United States. Slaves could move freely while at the square.

As the United States slavery style became more prevalent, the gatherings occurred less and less and finally ceased about 10 years before the end of slavery. In the late 19th century, Congo Square once again came to life when Creoles of Color began to perform concerts there. It was during that time that Jazz was born.

The best time to visit is the second weekend of November when the three-day long celebration, Congo Square New World Rhythm Festival occurs. The fiesta starts at 11 am and features African dance and music.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
New Orleans African American Museum

3) New Orleans African American Museum

Located in the Tremé community in Tremé Villa, the New Orleans African American Museum presents the life, culture, music, and history of the New Orleans African American community. Tremé is one of the oldest surviving black communities in the United States and it is only fitting that the exhibition hall be located there. The building design reflects West Indies and French-colonial architecture.

The museum was built between 1828 and 1829 by Simon Meilleur and is located on the site of a former plantation. The artwork of established and up-and-coming artists is beautifully displayed throughout the building. The site features three courtyards and a gazebo in the center of the yard that everyone will enjoy when they visit.

Variety is the theme at the museum with the exhibits changing frequently. One of the best exhibits is the Louisiana-Congo: The Betrand Collection that displays an assortment of jewelry, clothing, masks, artifacts, and musical instruments from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The exhibit allows visitors to see some of the parallels between African and African American culture. They are open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm and by special appointment on days they are closed. It is strongly recommended to take the bus tour offered by the museum.
4
St Augustine Catholic Church

4) St Augustine Catholic Church

St. Augustine Catholic Church is the oldest African-American Catholic parish in the nation. It is located on Saint Claude Avenue near the French Quarter on the site of the old Claude Tremé plantation. The church is the location of the annual Jazz Mass that is held in conjunction with the Satchmo Festival, which pays homage to Louis Armstrong.

The place of worship was founded in 1841 and dedicated in 1842. Architect J.N.B. de Pauilly designed the church. The property was donated by Ursuline Sisters on the condition that the church be named after Saint Augustine of Hippo.

What makes the church special is that it was built by Free Persons of Color. Famous parishioners include Homer Plessy, Sidney Bechet, A.P. Tureaud, and Allison ‘Tootie’ Montana. One interesting note is that a war of the pews began when white people heard about the free people of color buying pews for slaves. The free people of color eventually won by buying three pews to every one pew a white person bought.

St. Augustine’s almost faced closure after Hurricane Katrina due to extensive property losses in the city. This was a shock to the parishioners since the church escaped major damage. In addition, the parish was also providing support to those affected by the hurricane. The locals rallied and barricaded themselves in the building. This response caused the archdiocese to reverse its decision.

In 2008, the church received a $75,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express to do much needed renovations. Mass is at 10 am on Sunday.
5
Old French Market

5) Old French Market (must see)

The Old French Market was a major food market for 180 years in New Orleans. People came from far and wide to enjoy the delicious and fresh foods, aroma, and atmosphere. It is one of the oldest public market buildings in America. The original market was located at the Café du Monde site near Jackson Square and was constructed by the Spanish during colonial times to provide a safe and clean place to purchase food. In 1811, a new building was constructed only to be destroyed by a hurricane the next year. The current building was rebuilt in 1813 and survives to this day, albeit with several modifications.

Often called Halle des Boucheries, or the Meat Market, by the locals, the shopping center was the only place where meat could be legally be purchased. The French Market became so popular that it eventually contained a vegetable market, fruit market, a dry goods emporium, and a coffee stand. The market almost came to an end in the 1970s when the City removed most of the produce from the site. The French Market Corporation rebounded by illustrating its glorious past while opening clothing stores, gift shops, and restaurants. One of the best features of the market is the flea market that is open daily from 7 am to 7 pm where clothing, jewelry, arts, crafts, and other items are sold.

Tip:
Though it is filled with many of the usual market fare from around the world, there are local artists in this market as well, so make sure you look for them. Their wares are reasonably priced and are great souvenirs! Just make sure you bring cash as not all of the booths accept cards.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-6pm
6
Historic New Orleans Collection

6) Historic New Orleans Collection

Located in the French Quarter on Royal Street, the Historic New Orleans Collection focuses on the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region. The collection was established in 1966 by General and Mrs. L. Kemper Williams.

The museum includes the Merieult House, William Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, a museum shop, and the Williams Residence. Other buildings on the site include the Counting House, Maisonette, Townhouse, Louis Adams House, and Creole Cottage.

In addition, the Williams Research Center on Charles Street allows researchers to view the documents, library items, manuscripts, photographs, prints, drawings, paintings, and other artifacts. The museum shop sells books, prints, jewelry, stationery, gift cards, and other items.

Displayed collections include the William Russell Jazz Collection, the William C. Cook War of 1812 in the South Collection, the Tennessee Williams Collection, and the Clarence John Laughlin Collection.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and on Sunday from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Walking Tours in New Orleans, Louisiana

Create Your Own Walk in New Orleans

Create Your Own Walk in New Orleans

Creating your own self-guided walk in New Orleans is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
French Quarter: The museums

French Quarter: The museums

French Quarter is well known as a historic area. Little wonder then that you can find a lot of good museums here that reflect the history and culture of the district. Also brought to your attention are several house museums, often overlooked by most of the tourists. So do not hesitate, take this tour and discover by yourself the museums of the French Quarter.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
Uptown Walking Tour in New Orleans

Uptown Walking Tour in New Orleans

Dating back to the 19th century, Uptown represents a big area of New Orleans situated on the East bank of the Mississippi River. Major attractions are located in the Uptown New Orleans Historic District. Take the tour below and discover by yourself the best that Uptown has to offer.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 km
Marigny Nightlife

Marigny Nightlife

A city well-reputed for its never-ending party and carefree attitude, visitors to the French Quarter in New Orleans may not be surprised by the amount of great nightlife establishments found through the district but will certainly be impressed by the lively night of hot live music and ever-flowing drinks they experience once they are here. Take New Orleans’ Nightlife Tour in the French Quarter to see the best this happening district has to offer guests to its fair city after the sun goes down.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
Garden District Tour

Garden District Tour

Dating back to the 19th century, Garden District in New Orleans is famous for its heritage mansions and cottages. Along with the heritage sites you will discover several great specialty shops. Take the tour below and discover the beauty and unique atmosphere of the Garden District.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Unusual Shopping Tour in New Orleans

Unusual Shopping Tour in New Orleans

Sick and tired of big malls that are pretty much the same everywhere? New Orleans has a few shops to surprise you with. Whether you are looking for some interesting or weird souvenir to bring home to your friends or whether you would like to have a piece of New Orleans for yourself, the following tour will take you to the right places to find it.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Cultural Walking Tour in New Orleans

Cultural Walking Tour in New Orleans

New Orleans possesses a rich cultural and historical heritage and has a long and captivating story to tell. Whether you are interested in history and art or are intrigued by the mystical side of the world, the museums and the art galleries of New Orleans will never cease to impress you. Check out the Cultural Walking Tour below and discover the best museums the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km