To commemorate Black History Month 2017, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., (DGRI) asked locals to share their stories and knowledge of African-American leadership, culture and community in Grand Rapids. The result? An interactive, self-guided walking tour that highlights some of the historical moments of the African American experience and legacy in Grand Rapids. 

The Black History Tour of Downtown Grand Rapids encompasses two and a half miles and is narrated by former City Commissioner and Urban League of West Michigan President, Joe Jones. The tour features 11 points of interest, including stops at the historic Fountain Street Church, which has hosted Malcolm X and Langston Hughes, and Crescent Park, where the urban renewal legacy of Lyman Parks, Grand Rapids’ first African American mayor, is still seen in the city’s ever-expanding skyline. 

Black History Tour of Downtown Grand Rapids

This handy map of the Black History Tour of Downtown Grand Rapids shows all 11 stops.

Photo by DGRI

Take this tour, or other GR Walks tours, any time by downloading the GR Walks smart phone app.