8 places to support and celebrate Black culture in Philly

Honor the City of Brotherly Love's African American history at Black-owned businesses, a historic church, and several colorful murals

  • 8
  • 00:59
  • 14 mi
  • $2
Take This Trip

Created by Roadtrippers - September 27th 2021

Written by Tracy E. Hopkins

Located just a few hours from New York City and Washington, D.C., Philadelphia has historic landmarks at every turn. But the City of Brotherly Love is also full of art and soul, and steeped in African American culture. Here are our favorite stops on a road trip celebrating the passion and resilience of the city’s Black artists and entrepreneurs.

529 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA, US

Marsh + Mane

This polished beauty supply store features a mix of independent and mainstream hair care brands, primarily for people of color and textured hair. Owner Jenea Robison also makes and sells the store’s quality line of natural hair and body products.

1
2mi 00h 11m

258 E Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, US

Harriett’s Bookshop

1

Visit Jeanine A. Cook’s bookstore for bohemian vibes and a carefully curated selection of books for children of color, Toni Morrison’s complete collection, works by Sonia Sanchez and Zora Neale Hurston, and current bestsellers and independently published books by Black authors.

2
1mi 00h 05m
Franny Lou's Porch
4.5

2400 Coral St, Philadelphia, PA, US

Franny Lou's Porch

2

Named after civil rights icons Fannie Lou Hamer and Frances E.W. Harper, this cozy Kensington cafe co-owned by Blew Kind is all about love, liberation, and community. Regulars drop by for coffee, tea, smoothies, sweet treats, and sandwiches like the bacon, egg, and cheddar “Anti-Capitalist” served with a smile. Grab a table inside or enjoy the colorful, plant-filled backyard.

3
4mi 00h 14m
Reading Terminal Market
4.5

51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA, US

Reading Terminal Market

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Charita Powell’s Amazulu Gift Shop is a hidden gem in a sea of food and fresh produce vendors in the bustling Reading Terminal Market, one of the largest and oldest public markets in the U.S. The artist collective features Powell’s handmade sterling silver jewelry as well as jewelry from other local designers, Afro-centric t-shirts, African print headwraps, and eye-catching face masks.

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1mi 00h 07m
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
5.0

419 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA, US

Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church

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The mother church of the nation’s first Black denomination stands on the oldest parcel of land in the city continuously owned by African-Americans. A museum dedicated to its founder, Reverend Richard Allen, is housed in the basement of this historic house of worship. It includes Allen’s tomb and artifacts, such as his Bible, the church’s original pulpit and pews, and old ballot boxes and muskets used by Black troops in the War of 1812. A commanding statue of Allen overlooks the parking lot; in 1974, the church was designated a National Historic Landmark.

5
1mi 00h 09m
Philadelphia Municipal Services Building
3.0

1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA, US

Philadelphia Municipal Services Building

5

Thanks to Mural Arts Philadelphia, the city is hailed internationally as the “City of Murals.” The program transforms public spaces across the city into an expansive and electrifying outdoor art gallery, with many of the vibrant murals commissioned by artists of color. Crown by Russell Craig is located at the Municipal Services Building in Center City. To maximize your experience, park the car and take a Mural Mile walking tour.

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1mi 00h 07m

1531 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, US

A Celebration of Poetry

6

Parris Stancell’s mural, A Celebration of Poetry, features words from six different poets. Two women—one with a water jug, the other with a guitar—are depicted alongside a jazz musician, tracing the African American journey from Africa to the present day U.S.

1mi 00h 06m

1418 Diamond Street, Philadelphia, PA, US

A Tribute to Sonia Sanchez

This mural is dedicated to poet and professor Sonia Sanchez. By artist James Dupree, the artwork features images of Sanchez alongside African motifs; it’s located near Temple University at the intersection of Diamond and Carlisle Streets in North Philly.

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