GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Before the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles face off at 6:30 p.m. for Super Bowl LVII, you can dive into Black history in Grand Rapids through a walking tour.
The 75-minute tour, led by the chief tour ambassador of Grand Rapids Running and Walking Tours Caroline Cook, will start at 4 p.m. in front of the Grand Rapids Public Museum near Rosa Parks Circle. The tour is free through a partnership with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. during World of Winter.
“Come learn with me it’s really enlightening,” she said.
She will take the group along areas near the Grand River and learn of the people, places and events that mark African American history in the city including Rosa Parks Circle, Breonna Taylor Way and the statue of Grand Rapids’ first and only Black mayor, Lyman Parks.
Individuals will even go inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel where artwork can be found on the walls from a world-renowned Black painter from Muskegon named Paul Collins.
There are other historical figures on the list who’ve made notable contributions to Grand Rapids plus lessons on significant events of success and oppression dating back to the 1800s.
“There are chapters in this history that are really great and chapters in this history that are unsettling I talk about these things with pure honesty and we discuss when the Ku Klux Klan was marching down Bridge Street 3,000 strong in 1925. Not even 100 years ago,” Cook said. “It’s just educational to see how far we’ve come yet how far we need to come.”
It’s first come first serve to participate. There’s a 25-person limit.