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California african-american freedom trail tours

Songhoy Princess Club takes California African-American Freedom Trail tour in San Francisco.

" even native San Franciscans were shocked to hear, for the first time, the impact and pathways that Black people played in what is now a very different San Francisco.

In a city that many have called home for an entire lifetime, a unique and colorful history Black San Franciscans was never taught in the public schools. ,,,it’s a breath of fresh air to meet the tour historian Mr. John William Templeton"  

Michael diFlorimante, Registry Bay Area 

"Instead of stumbling our way through the streets with a book in our hand trying to figure out if “this is the building they’re talking about”, we were led by John William Templeton, an expert in African-American history. His tour was out of this world! I have read dozens of books about the history of San Francisco and Oakland, and much of what Mr. Templeton shared wasn’t to be found in any of them!

We started the day off by meeting up with a group of other urban explorers in San Francisco on Leidesdorff Alley. Before we arrived, we had no idea the significance of that location, but we were quickly educated on the many ways William Leidesdorff contributed to the history of San Francisco. A prominent Black businessman, Leidesdorff was a key player in the development of San Francisco in the mid-1800s. In addition to opening the first hotel in the city, and playing a part in opening the first public school in California, he also built the first commercial shipping warehouse. My husband went to elementary school in San Francisco and had never even heard of him!

Brandi MamaKnowsItAll

I am a native San Franciscan and it was shocking to hear, for the first time, the impact and pathways that Black people played in what is now a very different San Francisco.  In a city that I have called home for many many years, my very own history was never taught in a public school system that I attended from kindergarten to high school. 

Glasshouse PR

The tour was guided by John William Templeton. Templeton is an expert historian. We started the tour in San Francisco and drove through to Oakland. Then, while we stopped at different locations, Mr. Templeton told us the history of each stop.


The work of identifying it has already been done. John William Templeton, an executive producer at the instructional television network ReUnion: Education - Arts - Heritage, took me on a walking tour of San Francisco's black history one day.

We met at the Martin Luther King Jr. waterfall in the Yerba Buena Gardens. As we shook hands and said hello, I mentioned my surprise at the historical displays of the Bay Area's civil rights movement, which are hidden behind the waterfall.

"I've walked by this a million times, and I never knew that this information was here. I didn't even know that the waterfall was named after Dr. King," I said.

Caille Millner, award-winning San Francisco Chronicle columnist

Get Our Roots Run Deep: the Black Experience in California

Custom tours for cruise line passengers

California african-american freedom trail reaches 6,000 sites around the state. call 415-240-3537