Discover the Black Heritage of Paris

Everyone sees the Eiffel Tower with their mouths agape. It’s fascinating, but you can further explore the lesser-known black history of the City of Light. 

Many Afro-Americans took to France in the 20th century. The war brought some; others escaped racism at home. But they all settled in Paris and gave the city its multicultural feel.

Here are a few places to hit up and drench in vibrant past ‘n’ present.

Place Josephine Baker

A square in Montparnasse is named after Josephine Baker: a sensational entertainer. She constantly performed here. Today, a metal pole placard commemorates her contribution as a dancer, activist, and spy!

You can also visit her mansion, Le Beau Chene, in the suburbs of Le Vesinet.

Latin Quarter

This area on Seine’s left bank has been home to abolitionists and literary icons. Chester Himes once resided in the Beat Hotel. 

Not far from it is Shakespeare and  Company Bookstore est. 1919. Famed authors like Richard Wright and James Baldwin frequented this place. Or you can shop for historical books from Presence Africaine.

Café Tournon

The café across Luxembourg Gardens was another hangout of black expats and intellectuals. Wright, Himes, and Baldwin made up the Tournon Crowd. Earlier in the 1940s, it was a favorite stopover of the painter Beauford Delaney. 

Grab authentic bites of Parisian cuisine where Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie launched their distinguished Jazz careers and built St-Germain nightlife scenes. 

People regularly dance their nights away to heirloom music at Caveau de la Huchette.

Chateau Rogue

Château Rogue is the Louver of Paris Noir tours – a mini Africa, as many call it. Situated in Montmartre under the shadow of Sacre Coeur Basilica, this neighborhood is a melting pot of pan-African culture.

Exotic shops of every sort line its bustling streets, ranging from clothes and spice markets to hairdressers and tailors.

There is no shortage of clubs and pubs in the 18th arrondissement. Restaurants here mostly feature Indian, Sub-Saharan, and Caribbean food.  You’ll meet countless Americans and people of color.


The majority of visitors start their tour from neon-lit quarters of Pigalle. It borders Chateau Rogue. There are must-visit dining and shopping spots. As you can’t stay without a visa, you can’t return without a selfie at Moulin Rouge.

The area got a facelift during the 1920s (Annees Folles), coinciding with the influx of immigrants. It retains diversity to this day. A lot of places pay tribute to the Creole Goddess, Josephine Baker. She used to perform at Carrousel. 

Paris in a different light – Travel back in time

Victims of injustice flocked to Paris. Negrophilia had grasped the city, providing opportunities and safety to immigrants. You can trace the footsteps of accomplished artists and authors to connect with your roots.  

Excited to hunt the bounties of Black Paris? Contact us to curate a life-changing guided tour for you.