Black Heritage Trail of NH Presents 2024 Sankofa Guided Walking Tours

“Ona Judge Day” Tour May 21 kicks off 2024 series
Portsmouth, New Hampshire… Portsmouth Black History tours have been going on for 30 years. The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire (BHTNH) expanded these tours state-wide 7 years ago. Known for sharing a truer, more inclusive history of New Hampshire, BHTNH’s 2024 tour season kicks off with a special “Ona Judge Day” tour on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 2 pm. Afterward, guided tours are on Saturdays and Sundays from May 25 – November 3, 2024. Beyond the addition of the “Ona Judge Day” – two other new “Living History Tours” will feature both Prince Whipple and the 1779 Petition for Freedom and Jack Staines, the “blackjack” seafarer who married Ona Judge. And, a Dover Tour has been added to the lineup. For a complete list, visit

“We’re thrilled to be expanding our popular warm weather tours this year,” said JerriAnne Boggis, BHTNH Executive Director. “We’re starting off strong with our special ‘Ona Judge Day’ tour as part of NH’s celebration of the day in 1796 on which Ona Maria Judge Staines left the residence of George and Martha Washington in Philadelphia and boarded a ship to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she lived the remainder of her life in New Hampshire as a free woman.”

The 2024 series includes 17 different tours with topics including NH’s involvement slave trade, the early Black community and economy, Black soldiers in the Revolutionary War, and Harriet Wilson, the first African American novelist – who published in 1859. Beyond Portsmouth, guided walking tours will take place in Exeter, Milford, Dover, Hancock, Warner, NH, and Kittery, ME. They are led by expert guides who are trained in BHTNH’s Sankofa approach – literally “reaching back to get it.” Sankofa Scholars are well versed on the history and culture of African Americans, and pursue a deeper understanding of racism grounded in historical research.

Boggis again, “Our themed, guided tours explore our rich and often forgotten African-American history. This nuanced and shared history continues to shape our collective present and future. Our tours offer visitors an opportunity to visualize and share a truer more inclusive history of New Hampshire. Learn this history, connect to ancestors and ancestral roots, or simply explore and see for yourself the intricately woven cultural cloth that is New Hampshire.”

Important Tour Information
Unless otherwise stated, all guided tours start at 2:00 PM at 222 Court Street. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure time. If you do not arrive by 5 minutes before departure time, your spot may be given to another participant. Tours typically take 90 minutes. Registration is required prior to taking tours. If you have not pre-registered, and if there is space available, we will register you onsite to join the tour. There is a maximum of 20 participants per tour. Cost: $20 per person; $15 (with ID) for Seniors & Military; $10 for Students.

About the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire
The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire promotes awareness and appreciation of African American history and life in order to build more inclusive communities today. We work to visibly honor and share a truer, more inclusive history through exhibits, educational programs, curriculum development, and tours that can change the way our country understands human dignity when it is free of historical stereotypes. Building on the success of the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail that started more than two decades ago, the statewide Black Heritage Trail connects the stories of New Hampshire’s African heritage by documenting and making visible many of the historic sites that testify to this rich history. The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire is an independent, nonprofit organization. The organization is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit; Taxpayer Identification Number 81-3921917.

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