From Valentine’s Day to the Super Bowl, February is packed with exciting holidays and pop culture events, but perhaps the most significant aspect of the second month of the year is its designation as Black History Month. . So, in honor of the month-long vacation, we’ve put together a guide to 9 places where you can meaningfully celebrate Black history, culture, and societal contributions in Atlanta. Before we dive into those, though, an age-old criticism of Black History Month is that the holiday is celebrated in the shortest calendar month of the year, and that’s why almost every place or experience featured in this guide has been selected for its year-round availability. With the following local attractions, you can increase your understanding and appreciation of Atlanta’s Black history and culture during Black History Month and throughout the year as well. Here’s everything you need to know about Atlanta’s historic landmarks and black institutions.
The Atlanta History Center is known for its 33 acres of historic homes and gardens, and in addition to its spectacular permanent exhibits, such as the Atlanta ’96, Cyclorama, Atlanta in 50 objects, and more – AHC is currently showing a few Black History-themed exhibits. Those interested in a virtual learning experience can consult Highlight of United States Colored Troops Collection for free on the AHC website, and if visiting in person, access both the American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith and Explore Black Atlanta exhibitions are included in admission.
Cost: $9.80 – $23.41
Now that you know how you can learn more about Atlanta’s black history, literally spin the gears as you embark on a self-guided civilian bike tour. The Atlanta-based historical bike and walking tour company offers participants the opportunity to exercise while learning about all of the rich black history in the Downtown, Five Points and Sweet Auburn areas. You can book a private tour on the Civil Bikes website, but if you and your family just want to dive in on your own, you can also choose to take their self-guided bike tour that takes you to The Zero Milepost, Hurt Park, the John Lewis Mural, Atlanta Daily World, and more. To access the self-guided tour, simply subscribe to the Civil Bikes mailing list, and from there, all you have to do is go to the Five Points Marta station and secure a bike or a HOPR scooter to start.
As its namesake suggests, the Apex Museum is one of the best black history museums in Atlanta, and for added cultural significance, it’s located on Auburn Avenue, right between two important black literary resources: the Library of search for Auburn Avenue and the For Keeps bookstore. . The Apex Museum was first opened in 1978, making it Atlanta’s oldest black history museum and far older than many of you reading this guide right now. And don’t let its exterior fool you. As you pass the Killer Mike-approved institution, you may wonder if such a small entrance can lead to an interesting museum, but upon entering, you’ll come face to face with a wealth of insightful knowledge and information about African Americans and the Black Diaspora. Stop by between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday for a renewed and deeper understanding and appreciation of the contributions of African Americans to American and global society.
Cost: $5 – $7
Former Fourth Ward
Although not currently open to the public due to COVID-19, no one could put this guide together without mentioning the King Center and the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. Given the cultural significance of MLK and his longstanding ties to Atlanta, the immortalized leader of the civil rights movement played a vital role in Atlanta’s black history. In addition to featuring the Freedom Hall exhibit space, the King Center is home to the magnificent marble crypt that serves as the final resting place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King. Plus, MLK’s birthplace is also within walking distance of the King Center, and when tours become available again, you can schedule a visit ahead of time here.
A quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that we are probably all familiar with is: “Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This is why the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is such a major attraction in Atlanta. In addition to documenting the civil rights struggles of African Americans with permanent exhibits like Rolls Like Water: American Civil Rights Movement, PIECESand Voices to the Voiceless: Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collectionthe CNDH also stresses the importance of fighting against global injustices in Spark of Conviction: Global Movement for Human Rights and temporary exhibitions such as Rights. A true comprehensive museum, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is an important place to visit if you want to learn more about the civil rights era of black history. Additionally, NCCHR is offering a litany of virtual Black History Month programs that students, youth, adults, and everyone else can access for free throughout the month of February.
Cost: $15.99 – $19.99
While it’s incredible that The Dungeon, aka the house where André 3000 and Big Boi created OutKast’s classic debut album, Sudludiqueadillacmuzik— is now an accessible and temporarily livable Atlanta landmark, its sky-high $300+ price tag isn’t the most appropriate for a quick excursion into black Atlanta history. For a more budget-friendly tour of Atlanta’s hip-hop scene, head to the Trap Music Museum on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Besides having fun activities like “Escape The Trap” and “Sip & Trap,” the Trap Music Museum houses an incredible collection of Atlanta Hip-Hop memorabilia and illustrates the progression of the Atlanta-born rap subgenre. from his early days with artists like TI, Gucci Mane and Jeezy to contemporary runners like Future and Lil Baby. As evidenced by the involvement of many of the aforementioned artists in the 2020 protests, hip-hop history is intertwined with black history, so be sure to visit the Trap Music Museum during this month of the year. black history.
Many of the greatest Atlantans to ever live rest in Oakland Cemetery, and the same goes for famous and ordinary black people throughout A’s history. In fact, there are more than 12,000 Afro -Americans, including several former slaves of famous Slave Square, Selena Sloan Butler, former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, founder of Morris Brown College, Bishop Wesley John Gaines and many others, buried in Oakland and In honor of Black History Month, the cemetery is currently offering the free We Shall Overcome Tour. The 75-minute tour is an eye-opening experience that highlights the deep cultural roots of Atlanta’s black community, and remaining dates for this month include Tuesday, February 15; Saturday February 19; Sunday February 20; and Saturday February 26. Keep in mind, however, that like the majority of the other entries in this guide, you can go visit the resting places of black historical figures resting at Oakland Cemetery year-round.
Unlike Oakland Cemetery, South-View Cemetery was created solely for African-Americans who had suffered from the disrespect of predominantly white cemeteries in 1886, and today it remains the oldest African-American society “non eleemosynary” of the country. Among the more than 80,000 black people who rest in South-View are scholars, entrepreneurs, political leaders, artists, athletes, activists and notable military heroes, and it is also famous for being the cemetery where the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was buried. . South-View is a historic monument that makes black history the primary historical context, and if you’re interested in visiting, you can use the cemetery’s website as a guide for an extremely informative self-guided historical tour.
Although many of us spend Black History Month reflecting on the decades and eras past, it is imperative that we all remember that Black History happens every day. That’s why a visit to the High Museum of Art is absolutely mandatory in February. Currently showing is The Obama Portrait Tour special exhibit, which features Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald’s respective portraits of President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. The quaint exhibit details the thought-provoking artistic processes behind the two beautiful portraits, and just in case you didn’t know, Amy Sherald is both a Columbus, Georgia native and a Clark-Atlanta alumnus. This is Atlanta black history at its best, so set aside some time this month to check out Sherald and Wiley’s beautiful artwork.
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