Hello, I'm Krystal Kenney, a small-town dreamer turned Paris local. I love reading, adventures, and working with my little dog Coco at my side. My goal? To help others own their dreams and live a more creative life. Join me on this journey as we unlock your potential and turn your dreams into a reality. 

la vie creative stories

Creative, Paris, Podcast

Walking the Spirit: Black History in the Heart of Paris with Julia Browne

Paris, known for its romantic allure and artistic charm, holds a rich history that goes beyond the picturesque streets and iconic landmarks. This rich history includes diverse cultures, stories, and legacies. Julia Browne, Black Paris travel expert, has made it her life’s mission to share the heritage and narratives of Black history in this vibrant city.

A Glimpse into Julia Browne’s World: Black History Specialist

Julia Browne, originally born in England, grew up in Canada where she began to learn French in school and was inspired by the writings of Simone de Beauvoir and Colette. Eventually finding her way to Paris as a flight attendant, Julia began studying under Professor Emeritus Michel Fabre, the founder of the Center for African American Studies at the Sorbonne. At a conference in the early 1990’s, Julia took a tour led by a visiting professor and was inspired to give tours of her own, eventually founding Walk the Spirit. Specializing in Black history tours since 1994, Walk the Spirit is a testament to following one’s creative instincts, exploring one’s passions and sharing them with the world.

Cultivating Creativity: The Essence of Black History in France

Julia’s tours highlight the significance of Black history in shaping not only French culture and identity but that of the world. From the jazz clubs of the Roaring Twenties to the impactful presence of Black figures like Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, the Nardal sisters, and many others, the threads of Black heritage intricately weave into the fabric of France and beyond. 

Evolution of Tours: From Cue Cards to Cinematic Explorations

Julia’s tours have evolved over time, from humble beginnings with cue cards to now offering a plethora of experiences, including bus walking tours, online personalized tours, and customized itineraries for travelers looking to experience and learn about Black history in other cities and countries. Each tour is a dynamic exploration of Black heritage in Paris, allowing visitors to connect with the city’s diverse history and cultural significance. Besides tours, Julia and the Walk the Spirit team partnered with Blue Lion Film to create two documentaries on Black history in Paris and France, Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light and Fighting for Respect. 

Defining Creativity: A Personal Exploration

When it comes to creativity, Julia’s definition resonates deeply – it is about listening to one’s inner voice, finding solutions, and expressing oneself authentically. Whether through art, music, or everyday endeavors, creativity manifests in the unique ways we navigate the world and solve challenges that come our way.

Connect with Julia Browne

To delve deeper into the narratives of Black history in Paris, connect with Julia Browne on walkthespirit.com. Engage with her on Instagram at Paris.Beyond and on Facebook.

Embrace the Legacy: Black History is World History

Julia Browne reminds us that Black history is not confined to a specific community but is an integral part of world history. The narratives, triumphs, and legacies of Black individuals resonate across borders, inviting us all to embrace the richness of diverse heritage. History is not just a chapter in a book; it’s a living, breathing thing that helps us all gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for our global heritage. 

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