National Center for Civil and Human Rights

National Center for Civil and Human Rights

6 Georgia Cities to Experience Black History

Whether you’re exploring Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn District or the rich Gullah Geechee heritage on the coast, eating at one of the many black-owned restaurants across the state, or uncovering the monumental contributions made by Black community leaders to the civil rights movement, you’ll discover that Georgia’s Black history is a story that isn’t relegated to the past; it’s everyday in the making. Venture to these cities to experience the legacy and evolution of Black history in the state.

Atlanta

Obama portraits at High Museum of Art

President Barack Obama portrait at High Museum of Art Courtesy of @_jess.e.jones

View the iconic life-sized Obama portraits

Start in Atlanta, and experience the official portraits of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the High Museum of Art. With audio-visual elements to make it a 360-degree experience, you’ll get insight into the painting process and learn about the artists behind the portraits, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald. While there, be sure to celebrate Black artists and their works displayed throughout the museum. Don't miss out; the Obama portraits are on view for a limited time through March 20, 2022. 

Interior of Paschals Restaurant

Paschal's Restaurant Courtesy of @paschalsrestaurant

Dine where civil rights giants once gathered

Once the “meeting place” for some of the most notable activists, entertainers, and politicians – including Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dr. Martin Luther King – Paschal's Restaurant is an Atlanta staple for Southern cuisine. The restaurant is a must for those looking for history and the perfect fried chicken.

Related: Dining Legacies: Must-Try Black-Owned Restaurants 

The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights Courtesy of @nemosnaps

Explore the past, present and future of the American human rights movement

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights connects the American civil rights movement to today's global human rights movements. With four immersive exhibit spaces, including The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, where visitors can view the personal papers and items of Dr. King, you’ll be inspired to take action in the worldwide movement for human rights.

 

Athens

Interior Morton Theatre

Morton Theatre Courtesy of Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services

Catch a show at one of the oldest vaudeville theatres in the United States

Check out one of the few remaining vaudeville theatres built, owned, and operated by a Black businessman by the name of Pink Morton in Athens. The Morton Theatre holds a legacy of hosting music heavy hitters like Duke Ellington, Ma Rainey, and Cab Calloway. Today, the theatre has been restored and adapted as a performing arts space where you can catch live performances like "Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy or "Moving Mountains," both hitting the stage in February.

Augusta

Bike tour in Augusta

Bike tour in Augusta Courtesy of @bikebikebabyllc

Take a ride through history

Hop on a Bike Bike Baby and take a tour to learn about the rich history of downtown Augusta. Visit the home of the wealthiest Black woman in Augusta, historic Black churches and congregations, and more, all on bike. Also offered are art tours and a soul tour that touches on the life of the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown.

Thomasville

Visitors looking at exhibits in the Jack Hadley Black History Museum. Photo by @hadleyblackhistorymuseum

Jack Hadley Black History Museum. Photo courtesy of @hadleyblackhistorymuseum

Browse through a unique collection of historic artifacts

Housed in the former campus of Thomasville’s first public high school for African Americans, the Jack Hadley Black History Museum tells the story of some of America’s (and Thomasville’s) first Black achievers through news clippings, prints, pictures, paintings, posters, books, magazines and more.​​ After exploring more than 4,000 artifacts, some dating back to the 18th century, you’re sure to leave with a deeper knowledge and facts that you never knew about Black history and culture.

Savannah

Looking in the window at Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Georgia. Photo by @j_elizabeth813

Back in the Day Bakery. Photo by @j_elizabeth813

Indulge in cherished family recipes at a James Beard Award-nominated bakery

In the heart of Savannah’s Starland District, Back in the Day Bakery boasts a menu of biscuits, jams, pies, and more that embody Southern baking. Made from recipes passed down from her grandmother, these decadent delights showcase owner Cheryl Day's African American heritage. Swing by and see why this vintage-inspired bakery is a Savannah favorite.

Jekyll Island

Dolphin Club and Motor Hotel

Dolphin Club and Motor Hotel Courtesy of Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum

Tune into Jekyll Island’s untold musical history

Explore the former grounds of the historic Dolphin Club and Motor Hotel and learn about Jekyll Island's little-known Black and musical history. Take a tour to unearth stories about St. Andrews, which became a summer mecca for Black acts (and Georgia natives) such as Otis Redding and Millie Jackson. You’ll even get a chance to hear oral stories about the Dolphin Club in its heyday.

Published: February 2022