Guests will discover the Colorado River's centrality in the development of Austin and the surrounding region. We will do this by centering African Americans' history and experiences related to the vital waterway. Guests will have a chance to paddle through the river's role in race-based enslavement as a mode of transport and barrier to be overcome by self-emancipating African people in pursuit of freedom. This tour will also highlight how African Americans have used the Colorado River for different activities such as baptisms and recreation. Emphasis will be placed on the "swim-ins" of the 1960s, where Black youth in Austin challenged the city's segregationist policies, which barred Black people from recreating in its most coveted green space, Barton Springs. This tour is led by Javier Wallace, the founder and guide for Black Austin Tours. His family was trafficked into Mexican Texas as enslaved persons on this same body of water in the 1830s.
Rowing Dock is proud to support Black Austin Tours. 100% of proceeds from this tour series will go to Black Austin Tours.