5 Atlanta Landmarks Honoring the African American Experience
By AAA Travel Editors | June 01, 2023
Learn more about Atlanta, one of the cities in the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. Iconic businesses and museums in the destination — once called the “Black mecca” by Ebony magazine — provide a look at life ranging from Jim Crow laws and segregation to the effects of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Courtesy of Apex Museum
135 Auburn Ave. N.E.
Said to be Atlanta's oldest Black history museum, this attraction displays “history from an African American perspective to help all Americans and international visitors better understand and appreciate the contributions of African Americans to America and the world.” Highlights include ancient Africa as well as the numerous Atlanta businesses owned by African Americans; other topics change on a quarterly basis. Permanent exhibits, including a replica of the Yates and Milton Drug Store, also reveal the people and places, such as historic Auburn Avenue, that remain relevant today.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights
100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd.
Gain a comprehensive understanding of the Civil Rights Movement’s influence on worldwide human rights at this AAA GEM® attraction inspired by the work of former mayor Shirley Franklin as well as civil rights icons Evelyn Lowery and former United Nations ambassador Andrew Young. Exhibits go beyond a textbook explanation of the era with interactive activities and technology. Also impressive are the rotating materials, including documents and writings, found in The Morehouse College of Martin Luther King Jr. Collection.
Courtesy of Hyatt Hotels
Hyatt Regency Atlanta
265 Peachtree St NE
This downtown Atlanta hotel’s ongoing commitment to the community and minority-owned businesses, earned it the Trailblazer Award, presented by Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The hotel also features a nice atrium lobby and is convenient to public transportation, allowing guests to explore the area at leisure.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
450 Auburn Ave. N.E.
This AAA GEM® site encompasses Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church as well as the birthplace and grave of Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who paid the ultimate price for his activism when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. Coretta Scott King, who carried on her husband’s work, is buried beside him.
Sweet Auburn Springfest
Historic Sweet Auburn District
This family-friendly festival along Auburn Avenue, sometimes known as “Sweet Auburn” and “the greatest street on the planet,” usually kicks off in spring. First founded by civil rights leader Hosea Williams in 1984 to promote the historic center of African American business and civic life, the free features entertainment, a market and a children’s area.
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