National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Relive History or Experience it for the First Time

History comes to life at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta pays homage to the American civil rights movement and brings current global human rights issues to the forefront. The center highlights Atlanta’s role in the civil rights movement and is the ideal place to start exploring the city’s storied past.

Spend a couple of hours exploring the center’s three main exhibits: civil rights, human rights and The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection. Look at Freedom Riders Wall or the Wall of Martyrs and see young and old, black and white, male and female. The defenders of civil rights came in all shapes and sizes.

Each exhibit features hands-on interactive displays. View a video on the panoramic screen or sit at a lunch counter that simulates sit-ins. Stand tall next to life-size images of the dictators of the world – they’re surprisingly short.

Sit at this lunch counter, don earphones and listen to the kind of insults protesters endured as they worked to integrate restaurants.

On the bottom floor (below the main entry level) is the “Voice to the Voiceless” exhibit. This gallery, featuring personal belongings and writings of Martin Luther King Jr., projects the phrase “I have a dream” onto the Southern pine walls in more than 20 languages. Here, you’ll see original drafts of MLK’s most famous speeches as well as letters and notes written to friends and colleagues urging them to carry on in the fight for justice.

Upstairs, you can tell your story. The second floor has a booth where guests can share their own stories. The videos recorded here are curated and shown on a wall in the center. Just as much now as back then, our voices are paramount to creating a tomorrow that is better for all of us.

Don’t miss the amazing water sculpture on the Ivan Allen Boulevard side of the building. It features quotes from Margaret Mead and Nelson Mandela.

Insider Tips:

Discover More

Get to know Atlanta, and discover the best things to do around the city.