• Small Groups
  • Interesting Itineraries
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Walking the Spirit, Black Heritage Paris Walking Tours


Relive the times and challenges of the writers, artists, intellectuals, musicians and entertainers who called Paris neighborhoods home

Overviewicon Itineraryicon

Walking Latin Quarter/St Germain – Writers, Artists & Intellectuals

This tour begins at the Josephine Baker Square in Montparnasse then heads to the centre of Paris. Travel the backstreets to retrace where Chester Himes dreamed up prize-winning detective novels, Richard Wright jousted with French intellectuals, and Gordon Heath strummed his folk guitar. Bud Powell’s wife served up home food here, Lois Mailou Jones painted her way across the city and Henry O. Tanner painted his way into the Louvre.

Also: Ira Aldridge, Hale Woodruff, Meta Vaux Warrick, Miles Davis, Claude McKay, Victor Séjour and more.

This area is home to bookshops of all cultures and tastes, the venerable Sorbonne University, art house cinemas, existential cafes and the city’s original art gallery district. Enlightening.

Duration: 3 hrs


Walking Lower Montmartre/Pigalle – The Entertainers

Let us take you back to Harlem in Paris of the Roaring 20s! Between the Moulin Rouge to the north and Bricktop’s cabaret to the south, this entertainment district became the birthplace of Europe-centered jazz after WWI.

Includes: Josephine Baker, Sidney Bechet, Langston Hughes, Bud Powell, Florence Mills, Leroy Haynes Soul Food Restaurant, the birth of French jazz, and the fascination for African art.

Duration: 2 ½ hours


Walking ‘Africa in Paris’ – Chateau Rouge/La Goutte d’Or

Between the KFC, the bountiful fresh fish and exotic produce in the open-air market, the mosques, the hair shops, micro tailor and fabric shops, this Muslim and Catholic neighborhood feels, looks, and lives like no other quartier in the city. Fascinating.

Duration: 3 hours Available walking only.


 When Julia Browne stood in front of the Paris building where Langston Hughes had written his jazz poetry in the 1920s, she couldn’t believe that one of her literary idols had lived and worked in her same north end neighborhood. A mission was born – people had to know about this. That was 1994. Inspired by the writing of her mentor, the late Professor Michel Fabre of the Sorbonne Nouvelle, she carried out further research then launched Walking The Spirit Tours, the pioneering tours of black Paris.


20 years on, they still take great pride in educating and inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds on the rich cultural exchange between African American, Diaspora and French culture.


Catering to the growing fascination from travelers with little time to research but who crave authentic cultural experiences, Julia funnels her amour for the French lifestyle into designing personalized itineraries. As a certified Destination France Specialist and former longtime resident, Julia also expertly organizes full trip planning in France and Europe. The goal is simple: to share the passion by opening the doors for travelers to actively participate in culinary exploration, to explore off the path neighborhoods, to gaze at great and lesser known art, and to venture out, as the expatriates did, and engage with local residents of charming towns.


Mapicon Why SGT?icon

The Special Group Tours Advantage is our unique and intimate understanding of what you expect traveling in the UK and Europe. We have not only visited but have spent many years living in and loving the cultures you will experience down the ‘B’ Roads and off the beaten track. We have worked with local suppliers and our guide/companion team for over a decade, creating unique special interest itineraries. Special Group Tours offers our “insider” knowledge to you.


The SGT Small Group Touring Concept is traveling with just 4 - 14 guests per departure. It is our aim to introduce you to the 'real' country and its people, not just ticking the boxes of a standardized route and treating you as an individual and not a number. Our concept allows for a leisurely touring pace and flexibility to get off the beaten track to discover hidden gems. Of course you'll see the major sites but so much more too!


At Special Group Tours, it is our priority that you have the most enjoyable holiday possible. You deserve it!