Discover with us, unseen ancient and local narratives with African connections. Our guided public walks provide informative perspectives on historical facts, to provoke questions and/or reflection.
We begin our journey, around the central campus of the University of Leeds, from the steps of the iconic Parkinson Building, Woodhouse Lane. Start times are usually 11am or 2pm on the first Saturday of the month or following Sunday, depending on demand and new dates added to the original schedule. Book Now
The Leeds Black History Walk was launched in 2009 by Joe Williams, as part of a Chapeltown community initiative with the Leeds Be-Centenary Transformation Project, to transform how Africans are perceived in history. You will hear about Nesyamun (the Leeds Mummy), the Queen of Sheba, Queen Hatshepsut, the Nubian Pharaohs, the Bangled Lady of York, Emperor Septimus Severus, Olaudah Equiano, Sarah Parker Remond, Prince Alamayu, Pablo Fanque, Wole Soyinka, David Oluwale, Arthur France MBE, RH Robert Nesta Marley, David Hamilton MBE and much more.
The walk, understandably, lasts 2 hours & is interactive. Questions and group discussions are welcomed, but steered by the walk-guide for timekeeping. Participation in discourse is of course optional. The majority of our walkers simply like to absorb the rich information and follow up afterwards with their own research.
We will walk in sun and rain, each add their own quality to the atmosphere of the stories. However, we advise walkers to wear/bring appropriate items for protection against the weather.
Currently, we strongly recommend that you wear a mask respectfully on the university campus, but as the walk takes place solely outdoors the wearing of masks is optional.
The route is wheelchair accessible, but please give advance notice by email if possible.
We rarely cancel a walk, but if we do, due to extreme weather or new Covid regulations, we will offer another arrangement.
Leeds Black History Walks are run by Heritage Corner, who present creative collaborations and public services on the historic African presence in Yorkshire.
The Leeds Bi-Centenary Transformation Project (2005-2009), founded by Arthur France MBE and funded by the then Heritage Lottery Fund, commissioned the first walk to commemorate the 2nd visit to Leeds, in 1859, by the African American abolitionist and international statesman – Frederick Douglass. The project relied on the research of the Diasporian Stories Research Group (1995-present). The Leeds Black History Walk was the creation of researcher and actor Joe Williams, founder and director of Heritage Corner (2014).
Booking in advance is essential as numbers are limited. Each walk is strictly limited to 15 attendees so that social distancing is possible. If you would like to book for a group, please get in touch with Heritage Corner directly and they will try to accommodate you.
What people are saying...
- Really worthwhile and full of information. Love the use of performance to portray characters and bring history to life.
- A brilliant walk which shares (African) history in a well-researched, knowledgeable way. We need more of this input in our schools.
- This is the second time I've attended the walk and feel there is so much more to learn. Joe’s knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm mean I could easily stay for the whole day.