Uncover 2,000 years of Black history in London and learn how individuals of the African diaspora including Frederick Douglas, Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey and Phillis Wheatley shaped the London culture of today.

Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 London and the River Thames. Credit: Julian Lovel, London and Partners  Houses of Parliament overlooking the Thames River  St. Paul's Cathedral. Credit: Eduard Militaru  Enjoy a toe-tapping jazz performance.  Credit: Jorge Zapata  London's Tower Bridge  Lobby of the historic Radisson Blu Vanderbilt Hotel, Kensington, London

London: The African Diaspora

9 days | Full tour details to be announced soon

Uncover 2,000 years of Black history in London and learn how individuals of the African diaspora including Frederick Douglas, Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey and Phillis Wheatley shaped the London culture of today.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Gather in the vibrant city of London to explore in-depth the complexities and remarkable resilience of the African American and African communities in London. Discuss the art, literature, film, folklore, music, and dance of these communities. Marvel at centuries-old collections of African artifacts and art. Enjoy a special jazz performance at one of London’s hottest jazz venues. Stay at the elegant Radisson Blue Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel, located in posh Kensington.

Highlights Include:

  • Explore the Black Cultural Archives, a national heritage center, that features an unrivaled collection documenting the history, culture, and presence of people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain.
  • Enjoy discussions with local experts on the struggles within the Black British and U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
  • Delve deeper into the vast collections at the Museum of London Docklands and tour the National Gallery with an emphasis on works that richly illustrate Black presence
  • Tour Trafalgar Square, Soho and St Paul’s Cathedral and take a Thames river cruise through the city.

Itinerary

Day 1 & 2 – Depart Gateway City en route to London

Depart the U.S. on your transatlantic flight to LondonAfter arrival at London’s Heathrow Airport, transfer to the Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel, located within walking distance of many of London’s famous highlights.

Upon arrival at the hotel, you will receive a Welcome Package with information about London as well as a map of the city. You will also receive a London Transport Oyster pass, good for travel on London’s Underground, its iconic double-decker buses and so much more. You'll learn how to use local transportation by traveling as a group to London sites. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available throughout the program for suggestions regarding theater, restaurants, and independent activities.

This afternoon, gather for a walking tour of the neighborhood around your hotel. This evening join fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 3 – London

Watch a poignant film screening that reveals the struggles against racism in the United Kingdom, followed by a discussion comparing the Black British Civil Rights Movement to the US Civil Rights Movement. Then follow 2,000 years of fascinating Black history during a panoramic tour of London. View the famed landmarks including the Tower of London and Piccadilly Circus through the African Caribbean perspective. See spaces integral to London’s Black communities, and learn about prominent historical figures and their significant contributions to London’s culture. This evening gather at a local pub for a festive dinner. (B,D)

Day 4 – London

Join a local expert to learn about works of art illustrating the Black presence in London from the 15th-19th centuries at the National Gallery. After an included lunch spend time exploring Trafalgar Square, discover the rich history of this section of London and important links between Africa, India, and Caribbean communities. In the early evening gather at a local pub for a Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner and an opportunity to share insights. (B,L)

Day 5 – London

Gather for a presentation by a local expert on the legacies of James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, and Phillis Wheatley. Then depart on a walking tour of Soho, learn about the hundreds of years of African-Caribbean history in the area. Discuss key events and important figures such as Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson, and Dr. Ivan Van Sertima. This afternoon is free for you to explore London on your own. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will offer you guidance on using the London Tube to access the city. This evening is free of planned activities. (B)

Day 6 – London

Travel by London’s Tube to one of the city’s oldest areas. Visit St Paul’s Cathedral, known for its splendid dome, and the Roman Amphitheatre discovered in 1988. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon visit the Black Cultural Archives, the only national heritage center dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain. Then visit Brixton and experience the colorful, buzzing arcades of Brixton Market, a hub for activity with stalls selling everything from coffee and textiles to jewelry and Afro-Caribbean cuisine. This evening enjoy a festive dinner followed by a toe-tapping jazz show at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – London

This morning take a cruise on the mighty Thames which meanders through the heart of London. Pass by the House of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye and more. This afternoon step inside the Museum of London Docklands featuring a notable permanent exhibit about the transatlantic slave trade. Discover how the trade in enslaved Africans and sugar shaped London. In the early evening gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner to informally discuss the day’s events. (B)

Day 8 – London

After breakfast attend an engaging discussion about London’s current political, economic and social status within the context of the city’s Black communities. Then have free time to explore London further independently. This evening gather for a festive farewell reception followed by dinner. (B,R,D)

Day 9 - Depart for the U.S.

After breakfast check out of the hotel. A group transfer is provided to London’s Heathrow Airport for flights home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)