Black History Month in Atlanta
Black History Month is observed every February and aims to celebrate the achievements of African Americans throughout history. Revered historian Carter G. Woodson founded “Negro History Week” in 1926 in a time where minorities were simply omitted from history books. It is said that Woodson chose February because it coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass whose roles were paramount in the fight to end slavery. The name was later changed and in 1976 the week was expanded to be known as the present day Black History Month.
Explore Atlanta Black History Month activities throughout the month of February with three key venues around town.
Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries
The Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries displays one of the nation’s largest collections of fine art by African-Americans. Established during segregation as a place where Black artists could show their work, the museum’s permanent collection now includes pieces by Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Hale Woodruff and Elizabeth Catlett.
Sweet Auburn Historic District
The Sweet Auburn District was the center of Black enterprise from the 1890s to 1950. Auburn Avenue runs through the district. Notable places include the African-American Panoramic Experience (APEX) Museum, presenting history from an African-American perspective.
Also nearby is the Auburn Avenue Research Library; Atlanta Life Insurance Company, founded in 1905 by former slave Alonzo Herndon who was Atlanta’s first Black millionaire; the national headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and Big Bethel AME Church, one of the area’s oldest congregations.
The Sweet Auburn Curb Market, founded in 1918, has fresh produce and meats, and is home to small eateries including Grindhouse Killer Burgers, Afrodish Restaurant, Cafe Campesino Coffee Bar, Ciao Boca, and Metro Deli Soul Food.
For a guided walking tour of the Sweet Auburn area, contact the Atlanta Preservation Center at (404) 688-3350 or visit www.preserveatlanta.com.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is located on Auburn Avenue, and honors the life of the famous civil rights leader. The site is comprised of a visitors center that offers a short film on Dr. King and artifacts of his life and exhibits; both his tomb and that of his wife, Coretta Scott King; the MLK Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change; his birth home; the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame; and the recently-restored historic and new sanctuaries for Ebenezer Baptist Church, where three generations of the King family preached.