Jennifer Tosch, Culture: The Netherlands, Founder of Black Heritage Tours
Jennifer Tosch launched Black Heritage Tours Amsterdam in 2013 after taking the Black Europe Summer School course at the University of Amsterdam.
The inspiration for the tours first came not only from the transformative experience I had as a student of the BESS, but also from a void that I encountered regarding positive narratives about the presence and contributions of the African Diaspora in the Netherlands. After sharing my experiences with family and friends, I firmly believed I could contribute my share to the process of unearthing the lives of our hidden histories in Europe and in 2013 Black Heritage Tours in Amsterdam was born. The journey has been nothing short of amazing. We’ve built a sustainable business by collaborating with an awesome team of scholars, historians, public officials, businesses, and heritage tourism professional.
My vision is that through this tour and the tireless work being done by dedicated scholars and activists throughout the Netherlands we will move from silence, shame and blame to when we will speak about ‘Black history’ with pride, and to claim the heritage that is rightfully shared. I have already been confronted with some strong resistance to sharing a ‘different’ perspective about Dutch history, in one instance a ‘Dutch historian’ physically stood in front of me during a ‘pilot tour’ trying to deter me. However, it has been through that ‘rock of resistance’ that has motivated me to ‘sharpen my sword of knowledge’. Thanks to a powerhouse A-Team, my ‘narrative’ is based on sound research and scholarship. This is simply, a perspective whose time is long overdue.