The National Center for Civil and Human Rights Provides Moving Experiences

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta pays homage to the American civil rights movement, and also brings current global human rights issues to the forefront. The Center is a perfect starting point for exploring Atlanta’s history in civil and human rights movements. The Center highlights Atlanta’s – and its people’s – role in the civil rights movement like no other, and is the ideal place to start exploring Atlanta’s storied past. Start here and then visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site and The Carter Center.

Come for a couple of hours and explore the Center’s three main exhibits: civil rights, human rights and The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will broaden your view of who was active in the fight for civil rights. One look at Freedom Riders Wall or the Wall of Martyrs and you’ll see young and old, black and white, and male and female. The defenders of civil rights came in all shapes and sizes.

Each exhibit features hands-on interactive displays that bring guests into the subject matter. View a video on the panoramic screen or sit at a lunch counter that simulates Freedom Riders protests. Stand tall next to life-size images of the dictators of the world – they’re surprisingly short!

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., also projects the phrase “I have a dream” onto the Southern pine walls in more than 20 languages. Here, you’ll see not only original drafts of MLK’s most famous speeches, but also 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 an oral history booth where guests can share their own stories of civil and human rights. The videos are then curated and shown on the wall of the Center. Just as much now as it was 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 and perfectly represents all that the Center is working toward.

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