• Dedication of the Shaw Memorial 1897

    Boston African American

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

Things To Do

Black Heritage Trail
The Black Heritage Trail® explores the history of the 19th century free Black community of Boston. The trail consists of 14 sites and begins at the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Beacon Street. Self-guided tours can be conducted at any time, Monday through Sunday. Maps and site brochures can be obtained at the Abiel Smith School during site hours.

Ranger guided tours of the Black Heritage Trail® are conducted as follows:

Winter Season (December 2, 2013 - March 16th, 2014): No walking tours.

Spring Season (March 17th, 2014 - May 24th, 2014): Monday-Saturday at 2 p.m.

Summer Season (May 26th, 2014 - August 30th, 2014): Monday-Saturday; 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. Please call 24 hours in advance to reserve a tour for groups of 5 people or more.

Fall Season (September 1st, 2014 - November 29th, 2014): Monday-Saturday at 2 p.m.

Tours are 90 minutes long.

Group Size Limit is 15 people.

Schedule is subject to change. Please call (617) 742-5415 for information on reserving a tour.

Special Events

Throughout the year Boston African American National Historic site will be conducting specialized tours on a variety of topics relating to the African American community and Civil Rights in Boston. For more information, please see our Events page.

NOTE: The Robert Gould Shaw Memorial is owned by the City of Boston, is located on the Boston Common and is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. The African Meeting House and the Abiel Smith School are owned by the Museum of African-American History. The Abiel Smith School is open to the public during site hours only and houses the National Park Service visitor area. All of the other sites on the Black Heritage Trail are privately owned and are not open to the public.

Did You Know?

Sgt. William Carney of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment and the Boston African American NHS logo

The first African American recipient of the Medal of Honor was William Carney in 1900. Carney was a member of the famous Massachusetts 54th Regiment, and was honored with the medal for his valor at the Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863.