Black History by the People that Lived It: Downtown Detroit Walking Tour

Roasting Plant Coffee

Free Event

Sat, June 29th, 2024 @ 1:00PM EDT (multiple times available)

With Detroit’s long and interesting history, many have wondered, "if these walls could talk, what stories would they tell?" Well, wonder no more as lifelong Detroiter Glen Hendricks shares his personal stories and memories about Detroit over the last 70 years. His lived experiences, like many Black Detroiters, are a huge part of Detroit’s history but too often are left out of the textbooks and headlines.

On this one-of-a-kind tour, you’ll walk through downtown hearing about Glen’s experiences with some people and places that are well-known like Black Bottom, Hudson’s, and Coleman Young, but you’ll also hear about Black businesses and inspirational people that many people have forgotten, or perhaps never knew about at all.

Discussion topics include:

  • Personal family stories about coming to Detroit during the Great Migration
  • Growing up in Black Bottom and Paradise Valley
  • How Coleman Young’s election impacted Black Detroiters
  • Longtime Black businesses like Spectacles as well as new Black Businesses
  • Being an entrepreneur in Detroit in the 80’s
  • How all these stories are woven into the larger history of Detroit

Tour Duration: 2 hours

Your donation in exchange for ticket or tickets to this tour support City Institute's ability to offer public tours on donate what you can basis such as this tour and the Redlining, Racism and Segregation in Detroit Virtual Tour.

Weather Policy:

Tours will occur indefinitely, rain or shine, unless weather prohibits transportation or adversely affects our partners on the date of the tour for the time of the tour. Weather related cancellation or ticket transfer requests will not be approved unless submitted at least 72 hours in advance of the event start time. If a severe weather event causes the tour to be canceled, City Institute will offer to transfer participant tickets to another date or provide a refund.


We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. To request accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact [email protected] at least 2 weeks prior to your desired tour date.


Utilizing public transit along Woodward north of Downtown or parking in long term lots or structures within a few blocks of the starting point is recommended. On-street parking is available, but is generally limited.

This tour is produced by City Institute. Please visit to hear interviews with Detroit residents, community leaders, and small business owners or to schedule a tour for your group on any number of topics.

Want to send someone a gift certificate to use for tickets to any of our Downtown Art & Architecture tour dates? Purchase those here: