Black Paris Divas Strike Gold with Unprecedented Tour of Paris & the Dordogne

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Signature tour Culture, Cuisine & Josephine connects African Americans with their history in France

Black Paris Divas International - a partnership between Kattrax Tours, Walking the Spirit Tours and Cafe de la Soul * Your Black Paris Portal - have literally struck gold with Culture, Cuisine & Josephine, a unique African American heritage tour of Paris and the Dordogne.

The 8 day/7 night tour kicks off in the City of Light, where the quartet known as Black Paris Divas (Kat St. Thomas, Julia Browne, Robin Bates and Robin Mitchell) guide tour participants through a series of enlightening Black Paris tours, bountiful shopping excursions and palate-pleasing dining experiences with delectable dishes from France and the African Diaspora.

Participants are then whisked off by train (first class) to the Dordogne, arriving in a charming medieval town straight out of a fairytale. Once there, more mouth-watering culinary adventures await, as the next two days are spent sampling the best wines, foie gras and local specialties the region has to offer.

The full Culture, Cuisine & Josephine tour experience then culminates in a private guided tour of Josephine Baker's former home, Chateau des Milandes, where participants are guided through halls of rare photographs, original costumes, medals and furniture that once belonged to la Baker.

Reviewing the tour's itinerary, it becomes clear that Culture, Cuisine & Josephine is not your ordinary tour of France. Even clearer is the fact that this tour is unlike (and in many ways, far exceeds) other Black Paris packaged tours on the market today.

Just what makes Culture, Cuisine and Josephine so special? When participants were posed this question, they replied:

"It's the passion that Kat, Julia, Robin B. and Robin M. have for Paris, our culture and their tours. They enjoy every second, and that comes across in their interactions with us as a group as well as with others we come in contact with."

"The attention! Never once did I feel forgotten or unattended to. I overheard another tour participant ask if we could add an additional stop to our itinerary, the reply was "Of course! This is your tour! It's all about YOU.' At that moment, I was impressed."

"These sisters speak French, know their history, and can navigate through Paris like nobody's business. Black Paris Divas - the name says it all!"

"It is clear that great care has gone into planning the itinerary, from the hotel selections, to the restaurants and group excursions. 100% class, from day one."

"We did it all! We got a taste of African American history in Paris, went on a private motorcoach tour of the city, did some major shopping, dined at terrific restaurants, toured Josephine's chateau, and still found time to do some exploring of our own. Looking back, I can't believe it, but we literally did it all!"

Culture, Cuisine & Josephine has been known to stir up many emotional moments in the tour participants. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that the tour creates rare opportunities to connect with and almost relive the most positive aspects of African American culture and history abroad, a fact that is - understandably - deeply moving for some.

As one honorary diva explained through her tears: "This (feeling) started early on the tour as I found myself walking in the footsteps of our historical greats. Now to be standing in the very chateau were Josephine Baker lived at the height of her career...just to be here...learning more about her life, her accomplishments, is at once overwhelming and inspirational. I'm in total awe."

This may be the first time you've read about this dynamic group, but Black Paris Divas are in no way newcomers on the Black Paris scene. In fact, some would say that they are not only pioneers, but experts in their field. Kat St. Thomas - tour guide extraordinaire - has been conducting group tours to Europe and the Caribbean for the past 22 years, and first began bringing groups of African Americans to Paris in 1983. Julia Browne - journalist, film maker and former Paris resident - started Walking the Spirit Tours in 1994, the very first of similar walking tours that would eventually follow. Robin Bates - former Paris resident and founder of Cafe de la Soul - has been traveling to France since 1989 and 1998 launched Cafe de la Soul, the first website ever to focus on the African American community and their history in Paris. The fourth and newest diva is Robin Mitchell, a current Paris resident and PhD candidate from UC Berkeley. Mitchell has been studying African and African American history as it pertains to France since 1993 and has the honor of working under the famed Tyler Stovall, author of the highly revered book "Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light". Individually, these brilliant and accomplished women stand on their own; together they are Black Paris Divas. Indeed.

In 2006, Black Paris Divas will add yet another clever spin to their already exceptional tour: typically Culture, Cuisine & Josephine takes place in March and April, however, an additional excursion has been added for June 2006, when the entire Village des Milandes will be celebrating the 100th year anniversary of Josephine Baker's birth in a spectacular all day bash in honor of the beloved entertainer.

In addition to Culture, Cuisine & Josephine, Black Paris Divas conducts two other tours: "La Vie En Noire" an 8 day/7 night tour package in Paris and "Culture, Cuisine & Reggae", an 8 day/7 night tour focusing on Caribbean culture and the reggae scene in Paris. For more information, visit their website at


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