There may be no better place to participate in Black History Month activities than Atlanta. You can bring the family and have fun together (and everyone might actually learn something new too)! From parades to historic homes to interactive museums, Atlanta is a great city to experience any month of the year, but especially in February!
Black History Month Activities in Atlanta
There are a ton of educational, inspirational, and fun things for families to do in Atlanta, Georgia. No matter why you come to Atlanta, the birth place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (and many would say the Civil Rights Movement), there are a number of interesting family-friendly Black History Month activities in this great city. Check out some of my favorites:
1. Center for Civil and Human Rights
One of the newest attractions in downtown Atlanta is also one of the best places to begin your Black History Month activities. The Center for Civil and Human Rights has gained worldwide acclaim for providing state-of-the-art, interactive depictions of the fight against discrimination throughout history. The museum’s permanent exhibit includes a comprehensive gallery on the Civil Rights movement. The reenactments of the lunch counter sit-ins and protest marches are hard to experience, but so necessary. There is also an archive of Martin Luther King Jr.’s writings and exhibits on global human rights.
2. The Atlanta History Center
One of Atlanta’s best hidden secrets is the Atlanta History Center, which is located in a park-like setting in Atlanta’s posh Buckhead neighborhood. The exhibits are intended to engage the growing Atlanta audience on everything from Civil War slavery to civil rights movement-sparked integration.
If you have not seen their new interactive Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta exhibition, check it out! It is fantastic for families and kids of all ages. It teaches everyone about the struggles and triumphs Atlanta has had throughout its history in a fair, fully-inclusive way.
3. The King Center and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
Black History Month activities in Atlanta should definitely include The King Center and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. The best part is that they are FREE for all. Located in the lobby of the Visitor Center is the “Children of Courage” exhibit, which is geared towards younger visitors. This exhibit tells the story about the children of the Civil Rights Movement with a challenge to today’s youth.
The featured exhibit entitled “Courage To Lead” follows the parallel paths of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement. Then join in with the marchers on their journey up “Freedom Road”. See what’s new in the D.R.E.A.M Gallery home of special exhibits that change from time to time. Video programs are presented in the Visitor Center Theater on a continuing basis.
Just be prepared for crowds!
4. High Museum of Art Atlanta
January 15, 2017, marked what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s eighty-eighth birthday. To commemorate the event and honor this important leader of the civil rights movement, a selection of five images documenting his remarkable life are on view outside of the Greene Family Learning Gallery at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
The High Museum of Art’s extensive civil rights photography collection features photographs of the struggle for freedom and equality. This includes a number of photographs of Dr. King. The selection of images depicts both the popular representations of Dr. King many people are familiar with as well as his more personal side at home enjoying time with his family.
5. The Herndon Family Home Museum
Alonzo Herndon was born a slave on a plantation 40 miles east of Atlanta in 1858. Against all odds, he went on to become Atlanta’s first black millionaire. Herndon came to Atlanta and established a chain of barbershops. He later founded Atlanta Life Insurance and built an empire in the banking and life insurance industries. Herndon commissioned almost-exclusively African American craftsmen to design and build his two-story, 15-room Beaux Arts mansion in 1910 as an example of black achievement.
Tours of the magnificent Herndon home, which has been painstakingly taken care of, are only held on Tuesdays and Thursdays (unless there is a special program occurring on a different day).
6. Atlanta University Center
Take an official tour of one of the Atlanta University Center historically black colleges and universities or just meander through the park-like campuses. Atlanta is home to Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College. Alumni of the four colleges are a who’s who of black achievers, including Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., as well as authors, athletes, and some of the best and brightest African American business leaders.
The Robert W. Woodruff Library located at the Atlanta University Center has a large collection of archives on the Civil Rights movement for further study. Don’t forget to stop at the bookstore for a cool t-shirt to bring home!
7. Black History Month Parade
The annual Black History Month parade will once again traverse the streets of historic Martin Luther King Jr.’s Sweet Auburn district in downtown Atlanta during February. The parade begins at the King Center National Park and will end at Woodruff Park. There is typically a post-parade family friendly festival with music artists, vendors, speakers and more afterward.
There is so much to do in Atlanta when it comes to Black History Month activities. It is a great city to spend an afternoon, or a week, examining the role African Americans had in shaping America from slavery to the Civil Rights period to now. Check out more family-friendly things to do in Atlanta. Looking for somewhere to stay? Here are six family friendly hotels that may work for you!