3 Must-See Black History Sites in Georgia
Georgia’s role in the civil rights movement is examined in three fantastic museums: the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, the Albany Civil Rights Institute and the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum in Savannah. And no civil rights study would be complete without a stop at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. MLK’s hometown of Atlanta is a great place to celebrate MLK weekend, too.
But there's more to black history in Georgia than just the movement. Here are three places in Georgia to learn more about the African American experience, beyond civil rights.
PinPoint Heritage Museum, Savannah
Georgia is part of the Gullah Geechee corridor that runs from Florida through Georgia and the Carolinas. Brought to Georgia as slaves, the Gullah Geechee were from West Africa. Once in the states, many retained their African heritage even amid lives in bondage. Along Savannah’s Moon River grew a community of Geechee freedmen. The tiny town of Pin Point celebrates their lives with the Pin Point Heritage Museum built in an old factory. Admission: $8 adult; $4 children (2-12).
Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center, Cassville
At the turn of the century, Booker T. Washington partnered with Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears Roebuck, to build schools throughout the South for African American children. Rosenwald Schools served one-third of the South’s rural black children, and there were more than 250 Rosenwald Schools in Georgia, according to a Fisk University database. Visit the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center housed in the former Noble Hill Rosenwald School, to see the first school in northwest Georgia constructed with Rosenwald funds. Free admission; donations accepted.
Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta
During Black History Month, Historic Oakland Cemetery offers free guided tours that explore the lives of Atlanta’s black pioneers. Visit the final resting place and hear stories of Carrie Steele Logan, founder of Atlanta’s first orphanage for African American children; William Finch, one of Atlanta’s first African American city councilmen; and Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African American mayor. Not visiting Oakland Cemetery during Black History Month? Download a free audio tour (Google Play, iTunes) for a self-guided experience.