Newport Black History Walking Tours

Lost Stories of Resistance & Freedom

Take a walk with us across Historic Hill to learn about -- and honor -- Newport’s Colonial Black American History.

RISHM Quick Facts

RI passed an anti-slavery statute in 1652, the very first in the US colonies, then a Slave Importation Moratorium in 1808. Despite these, laws were largely ignored until passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865 after the Civil War.

Our Story

Our entire team at RISHM and Newport Black History Walking Tours is committed to diversity, inclusion and sustainability. We work hard to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all, while also minimizing our collective carbon and waste impact on the physical environment we walk upon. We respect the local businesses and historical sites we will see along our route, while taking pride in sharing Newport’s previously untold stories of our forefathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and neighbors who walked these sidewalks and paths in earlier centuries.

Our Walking Tours

Newport Black History Walking Tours are led by trained guides and will be held three days each week (Saturday, Sunday, Monday, rain or shine) beginning June 15th, following RISHM’s Newport Juneteenth celebration. The regular 2024 tour season will start Saturday, June 22 and the season will conclude Saturday, November 30. Each tour will start on Bowen’s Wharf, near the Pilot House, at 10 AM where the wharf meets America’s Cup Boulevard.

The approximately one mile tour through Historic Hill will end at Eisenhower Park on Washington Square, in front of the Colony House at approximately 11:15 am.

Please note guests will be walking over some cobblestones and uneven ground, with a slight incline, so comfortable footwear is suggested. The tour will last for about 75 minutes.

Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for students and military personnel (with ID), and $10 for children under age 12 (with the exception of infants who are free). Public restroom facilities are available along the route.

Our Values

Newport Black History Walking Tours is a unique walk-through-history experience that has been made possible by RI Slave History Medallions (RISHM.org). NBHWT has been established and produced with the belief that the daily history of all cultures and peoples has relevance for all, and still resonates with us today. Our trained historians and educators have worked tirelessly to discover more untold stories about early Black Americans and to share the contributions they made and legacies they left.

Tour Details

Hours

Saturday, Sundays & Mondays

10:00 AM -11:15 AM

Special Group Tours are Available

We can customize a tour to suit your special interests, or try to accommodate a specific date that is not on our schedule.. Contact info@rishm.org for more information.

Private Tours

To book a private tour, contact info@rishm.org

Watch this space for periodic updates to our Newport Black History Walking Tours programming!

Frequently Asked Questions

Please reach us at info@rishm.org if you cannot find an answer to your question.

Metered street parking is available throughout downtown Newport.  For details about city parking lots click here.  

We cannot currently accommodate large groups on our standard tour but would be happy to find availability for a private group tour. Please contact us directly at info@rishm.org

The walking tour is outside during the day. Please make sure you provide your own standard sun protection including sunblock, hats or UV protective clothing. Please bring a water bottle or rain protective clothing/umbrella during inclement weather conditions. 

Advanced purchase is strongly recommended, to guarantee your spot.  After tour start time, if spots are available, tickets can be purchased at our tour kiosk.

You can change or cancel your booking date up to 24 in advance before your tour. You can do this directly through the ticketing site.  

We welcome guide dogs and other trained service animals, but we cannot accommodate other animals on the tour.

Please dress for the weather. We will cancel a tour if there is severe inclement weather, such as lightning, ice, gale winds, or blizzard conditions. Most tours will depart if it’s raining. We will offer the option to reschedule or cancel for a full refund. 

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