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Celebrate Black History Month Year-Round in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

by Aoife O'Riordan

Feb 27, 2024

© Visit Baton Rouge

Destinations / North America

Louisiana’s Baton Rouge owes its vibrant culture to the many African American leaders, entrepreneurs and artists who cultivated and nurtured communities in the river city for hundreds of years. Baton Rouge is a city to celebrate the ingenuity and spirit of Black Americans not only in February but all year, from heritage and Civil Rights trail sites to many Black-owned restaurants and stores to the largest historically Black college and university in the world.

 

Old state Capital

© Visit Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge’s Black History Trail

Head to Capitol Park Museum to learn about the city’s notorious history with slave markets and Jim Crow laws, as well as the people’s involvement in resisting and revolting these laws. Other stops along this enriching trail include Baton Rouge African American Museum, where an authentic 1953 bus brings to life the country’s first Civil Rights bus boycott. Don’t miss the Kress Building, where seven Southern University students conducted a sit-in at the all-white lunch counter on March 28, 1960. And be sure to check out the Freedom Riders’ meeting side at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol.

 

Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room and Heritage Museum

Open Thursday–Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight, this venue promotes new and original musical talent in an all-ages atmosphere.

 

main lobby

Main Lobby © Visit Baton Rouge

The Main Lobby

Parents and adult children should allocate time in the evening for a visit to this downtown cocktail lounge. This Black-owned spot embraces French elements with flair from Spanish Town, a Baton Rouge neighborhood with deep African American history. Enjoy jazzy soundtracks with tasty cocktails.

 

Southern University

This university is the largest historically Black university in the world and retains a rich history. Many of its students in the past organized protests during the Civil Rights movement, with others creating the sensational “Human Jukebox” marching band that awes crowds every Saturday in the fall. Stroll through the campus, a former plantation, and experience the lively student community. If you happen to visit on a Monday, stop by one of the dining halls for Soul Food Monday and get a plate of classic Baton Rouge red beans and rice for about $10.

 

Southern University

© Visit Baton Rouge

Chicken Shack

There are multiple locations of this delicious eatery across Baton Rouge. It’s the city’s oldest restaurant, serving up the best pork chops, shrimp, fried chicken, fresh vegetable sides and homemade desserts since 1935.

 

Southern Cofé

Experience the city’s booming coffeehouse scene here at this Black-owned coffee shop, where specialty coffee, smoothies and acai bowls await.

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