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  • Civil Rights & Beyond

    African-American History Civil Rights and Beyond 

    "Atlanta is known for its rich African-American culture," said Kathleen Bertrand, ACVB senior vice president of governmental and community affairs. "Visitors to Atlanta may find history, cultural attractions and the spirit of the black family in the many churches, restaurants and attractions in Atlanta." 

    Morning 

    Visit the Sweet Auburn District and the  Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site .

    The Sweet Auburn district houses the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site; the restored King Birth Home; Ebenezer Baptist Church, where three generations of the King family preached; and the burial site of MLK Jr. and his wife, Coretta.

    Insider Tip: Take the GPS Ranger tour of MLK National Historic Site.  Located inside the historic firehouse you can rent a hand held GPS which will take you on a Tour at your own walking pace.  

    Stand in the footsteps of civil rights leaders on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, where the shoe prints of heroes such as Rosa Parks, President Jimmy Carter, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and 14 others have been embedded in a permanent concrete memorial in the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Space exists eventually to hold more than 600 footprints of exceptional men and women.

    Guided walking tours of the Sweet Auburn district are offered Saturdays from March-November. To schedule a tour, contact the  Atlanta Preservation Center.

    APEX Museum 
    Hear stories of early African-American pioneers in Atlanta and of Auburn Avenue, plus learn about the powerful black families that helped transform Atlanta. 

    Lunch

    Gladys Knight & Ron Winan's Chicken & Waffles  hearkens back to 1930s Harlem when celebrities visiting Wells restaurant in the early morning hours couldn't decide if they wanted dinner or breakfast. The strange but delicious combination of juicy fried chicken with sweet, syrupy waffles was born. Open until 4 a.m. on weekends, stop for lunch, dinner or a late-night snack from the musically themed menu.

    Afternoon 
    The Atlanta University Center is the largest concentration of African-American colleges in America and includes Spelman, Morehouse and Morris Brown colleges and Clark Atlanta University, The Interdenominational Theological Center and Morehouse School of Medicine.

    The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art emphasizes works by and about women of the African Diaspora.

    Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries are on the campus of one of the city's oldest black universities and feature 640 works of art, including contemporary American, African-American and African in paintings, sculptures and murals.

    Hammonds House Galleries and Resource Center of African-American Art displays art by people of African-American heritage, and disseminates an understanding of art from the African Diaspora. The gift shop is small, yet brimming with fun and unique treasures.

    Dinner 
    Civil rights leaders and strategists would come together over the Paschal brothers' savory cooking at Paschal's Motor Hotel and Restaurant. Today, Paschal's Restaurant at Castleberry Hill still hosts Atlanta's leaders for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

    Evening 
    Check the schedule of  True Colors Theatre Company, a national company led by Kenny Leon, former Alliance Theatre artistic director and director of the Broadway revival of "Raisin in the Sun." The theater is committed to staging groundbreaking African-American plays. 

    Events honoring the culture and heritage of African-Americans are held throughout the year in Atlanta. Here are some hot annual events during the year.

    January: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday 
    February: Black History Month 
    May: Atlanta Jazz Festival 
    July: National Black Arts Festival 
    September: Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic

    RESOURCES 
    Call (800) ATLANTA to request the Atlanta Heritage Guide, one of the nation's first visitor guides geared toward the African-American traveler. 
    Visit the Atlanta Heritage Web site.

Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Established in 1913, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, nonprofit organization created to favorably impact the Atlanta economy through conventions and tourism.

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