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Discover Savannah’s black history on this 2.5-hour bus tour around the city. Explore Savannah’s historic downtown district, stopping at significant sites like the First African Baptist Church, the Beach Institute and more while watching an on-board DVD detailing Savannah’s black community before and after the Civil War. Also, try a free sample of some conch salad at Ye Old Herb Shoppe, a popular, local Caribbean specialty store. All entry fees and transportation are included. A hotel pickup and drop-off are available for a fee.

Highlights

  • 3-hour black history tour of Savannah by air-conditioned bus
  • Watch a DVD slideshow about the history of Savannah’s black community while riding around town
  • Learn about the origin of the term 'African-American' and the 'weeping time'
  • Visit the First African Baptist Church where the first all-black Baptist congregation is said to have prayed
  • Explore Beach Institute Museum at leisure and see an array of African-American cultural artifacts
  • Try a Caribbean conch salad and mango tea in Ye Old Herb Shoppe, a specialty Caribbean food shop

What You Can Expect

Savannah Black History Tour

First African Baptist Church

Arrange for a hotel pickup ($5 surcharge) if desired, then begin this guided tour at the Savannah Visitor Center, located in the passenger terminal at the Central of Georgia Railroad complex. Climb on board an air-conditioned bus and embark on a 2.5-hour journey to discover Savannah’s black history.  While traveling from one significant site to the next, watch the on-board DVD slideshow that will explain Savannah’s complicated and tumultuous history. Learn important facts about how the Civil War affected not only the lives of Georgia residents, but the rest of the country as well. 

One of the stops along the way will be at the First African Baptist Church, the oldest black church in North America, organized in 1773 under the leadership of Reverend George Leile. The light fixtures, baptismal pool and 1832 pipe organ are all original to the church. The pews in the balcony are also original, built by slaves and nailed into the floor. Beneath the lower auditorium floor is an Underground Railroad, where after leaving the tunnel, slaves would try to make their way as far north as possible.

Walk around at leisure to see memorabilia in the church museum.

Another stop is the Beach Institute, an African-American Cultural Center with a full schedule of programs and exhibits that feature arts and crafts with an African-American influence, including a collection of wood carvings by renowned folk artist Ulysses Davis.

Finally, visit Ye Old Herb Shoppe, a specialty food store with a Caribbean influence. Try an appetizer of conch salad with a mug of mango tea, then shop for herbs and spices to take home, if desired.

The tour ends with a return trip to the Visitor Center.

Customer Reviews

Christine K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

The tour began right on time from the Savannah Information Center and Savannah Museum - the old railway center from the post-vellum era - not with the regular driver/guide - who was indisposed - but with Gary Evans - one of the company principals and researcher/writer of the script. We were the only couple on the tour - and so easily took in the information and the sights as the bus slowly trundled its way around the city and its African American history - lots of firsts - churches and schools - music too - but the dreadful circumstances of the importation of African slaves was not glossed over - and one has to remember that the State of Georgia began as a non-slave colony also banned - spirits, Catholics and lawyers - the last more a wish than a proscription apparently! The first slaves were used in rice growing - and in the production of indigo - before cotton became the major agricultural and plantation king. Haitian militia men fought with those local militias fighting against the British during the War of Independence, too. And we learned something of the Gullah-Geechee presence and cultural context, too. Thanks, Gary!

Shirley L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The tour guide Ralph Bass was awesome !! Everyone should take the tour it was well paced and unique.

Janet P

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better April 2015

This was not what we expected because we only tour one black museum and only passed the places we thought we would get an inside tour and I don't think the Carribean herb shop was related to the Black historical events for Savannah. We paid for a three hour tour, but only got two hours.

Anna V

1 star rating: I do not recommend this July 2014

IT was not worth the money that we paid. We would never do that again.

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