Entrée to Black Paris Blog

Paris Tourist Office Collaborates on Virtual Black Paris Experience

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Paris Tourist Office Collaborates on Virtual Black Paris Experience

Cover Image: Claire, Monique, and Léa at Carpeaux Fountain
© Entrée to Black Paris

On Tuesday, March 16, Entrée to Black Paris (ETBP) and the Paris Tourist Office (aka Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau) took a stroll through black Paris!

ETBP has been a member of the Paris Tourist Office (PTO) for a couple of years, and we're listed under "Guided Tours" on their Website. The office functions to welcome and provide visitors with information; to promote the capital’s attractions, in France and abroad; and to provide assistance to Paris tourism professionals.

Because European Union borders are largely closed to overseas travelers as a result of the pandemic, PTO is diligently working to provide whatever support it can to its members whose livelihood depends on those absent travelers.

ETBP is one of these members, and Tuesday's event was our first "on the ground" collaboration.  

When we contacted PTO to suggest collaborating on a virtual walking tour that would feature the contributions of people of African descent to the fabric of Parisian life, we told them of the enthusiastic responses we received from four previous clients who booked the Virtual Black Paris Experience. The office accepted our proposal, and on Tuesday, March 16 at 4:00 p.m. Paris time, PTO staff members Léa Fernandes and Claire Jean joined me at the garden to video the walk.

The event was broadcast over Facebook Live and reached over 300 Facebook followers in real time.

Claire Jean and Léa Fernandes of the Paris Tourist Office recording the livestream
© Entrée to Black Paris

Our ~30-minute walk included three of the fifteen (15) stops presented during the full Virtual Black Paris Experience.

First, we visited the area of the Luxembourg Garden that is dedicated to France's formerly enslaved peoples.  I presented Le Cri, L'Ecrit, the sculpture that was inaugurated there in 2007, as well as the plaque erected in the space in 2011.

Presenting the plaque
© Entrée to Black Paris

We then made our way to the southern gate of the garden and exited to view the bust of late Gaston Monnerville (1897-1991), who served as the president of the French Senate for over 20 years.  The bust is positioned such that Monnerville's gaze is directed toward the Luxembourg Palace, where the French Senate meets.

Presenting Gaston Monnerville
© Entrée to Black Paris

We continued our trek in the direction of the Montparnasse district, ending the tour at the Carpeaux Fountain.

Monique and Léa at the Carpeaux Fountain
© Entrée to Black Paris

Between the Facebook livestream and the recording, which is posted on Facebook, over 5500 people from around the world have now had a taste of the Experience. Their response was overwhelmingly positive!

Claire, Monique, and Léa at the Carpeaux Fountain
© Entrée to Black Paris

View the livestream recording at the following link:  https://fb.watch/4i7ELFPEQt/.