Tour black history along South Street

W.E.B. DuBois Mural (Photo by SSHD)
W.E.B. DuBois Mural (Photo by SSHD)

The South Street Headhouse District will once again honor Black History Month with its Black History on South Street: A Self-Guided Tour. This year, the SSHD has added new stops that will take visitors throughout the district to locations that have shaped the history and culture of the city. This tour is free and open to the public all year round, highlighting enduring Black history on and around South Street alongside ephemeral installations that pay tribute to Philadelphia Black history from past to present.

Multiple sites include the all-Black Engine #11 fire station; the Seventh Ward and sociological studies of W.E.B. DuBois; Black community members like educator and civil rights activist Octavius V. Catto, artist Conrad Booker and skateboarder Roger Browne; as well as the origin stories for would-be famous performers like Boyz II Men and The Roots.

New stops on the tour this year include: A tribute to The Orlons’ classic “South Street” album, featuring a framed original copy of the vinyl record, jacket and insert (South Street Off Center, 407 South St.); Settlement Music School, whose notable alumni include Kevin Eubanks and Questlove of The Roots, both of The Tonight Show, Chubby Checker and Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge (416 Queen St.); The 7th Ward Tribute’s “Reflecting Revenants” art installation at two neighborhood businesses (Black and Nobel, 422 South St., and Greene Street Consignment, 700 South St.); and Wheatpaste installations for Philly rapper Tierra Whack’s new album, “World Wide Whack” (304 South St.).

The South Street Headhouse District’s Black History on South Street: A Self-Guided Tour will feature these and many more iconic Black historical landmarks throughout the district, some that have and will be around for many years to come and some that are only available to view this month. The district encourages visitors to follow along on their Instagram as it will be uncovering more Black history on and around South Street throughout the month.