Celebrate Black History with a tour of the exhibits at Apex Museum in Atlanta.

Unique Things to Do for Black History Month in Atlanta

In January, we celebrate the birthday and contributions of Atlanta native Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Events, children’s activities and concerts take place throughout the city. Then in February, we celebrate Black History Month as we highlight all of the contributions of Black Americans to our country. Please check for the latest events and in the meantime, pay homage to Black history. Here are a few ideas.

Stroll Down Auburn Avenue

See the “Behold” statue on Auburn Avenue. (📷 Scott White)

The Sweet Auburn neighborhood was once the center of cultural, spiritual and business life as well as a safe haven in Black Atlanta. Learn more about what was known as “the richest Negro Street in the world,” including Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. Walk in the footsteps of those who came before us on Auburn Avenue, and see the Black and brown-owned businesses that are helping to revitalize the area.

 Location: Start at the Auburn Avenue Research Library, head across the street to the APEX Museum, then make your way down to For Keeps Bookstore before heading to the MLK birth home.

Support Black-owned Businesses

Support Black businesses by shopping at The Village Retail at Ponce City Market. (📷 Ponce City Market)

Although you may know of many Black- and minority-owned businesses including your favorite spa, gallery or tour group, you may not know how much your continued support contributes to building stronger communities, closing the wealth gap or even entrepreneurial equity. The Village Retail at Ponce City Market features goods from more than 25 local Black entrepreneurs.

Location: The Village Retail is inside Ponce City Market in Midtown at 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE

Explore the Past and Present Through Interactive Exhibits

A view of people looking at the civil rights exhibits and learning about human rights at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Relive the civil rights movement and learn about human rights at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. (📷 Justin Chan)

Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights pays homage to the civil rights movement and it brings current global human rights issues to the forefront. Walk through the center’s three main exhibits: civil rights, human rights and the Martin Luther King Jr. Collection from Morehouse College. Each exhibit features hands-on interactive displays that bring you into the subject matter.

Location: National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Downtown between Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola at 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd.

Enjoy a Two-For-One at High Museum of Art

A painting of Barack Obama as part of "The Obama Portraits Tour" on display at High Museum of Art.
“The Obama Portraits Tour” on display at High Museum of Art (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA-© Kehinde Wiley)

“The Obama Portraits Tour” is on view at the High Museum of Art through March 20. The official portraits of President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively, are part of a tour organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Location: High Museum of Art, Midtown at 1280 Peachtree St. NE

Celebrate Black Contributions to College Football

A boy cheering his favorite college football team at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
College football reigns supreme at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. (📷 Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame)

Head Downtown to Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame for a special exhibit featuring stories, artifacts and college football treasures from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. While you are there, take note of this message from the College Football Hall of Fame: Hall of Famers come from diverse backgrounds and have achieved the pinnacle of college performance. Many have broken down social barriers while facing tough obstacles yet have used those experiences to educate others and seek change.

Location: Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, Downtown at 250 Marietta St. NW

Create a New Food Itinerary

Purchase a gift card, pick up takeout or chow down at Black and brown-owned Atlanta restaurants. Here’s one idea for an Atlanta food itinerary supporting these restaurants:

Coffee: Coffee of the Day at Urban Grind

Breakfast: Peach Cobbler French Toast at Atlanta Breakfast Club 

Lunch: Rapper’s Delight at Local Green Atlanta or Dat Ish Wrap at Tassili’s Raw Reality Cafe

Dinner: Mama Joyce’s BBQ rib tips at Old Lady Gang, Ludacris’s fried catfish sandwich at Chicken + Beer or fried chicken at Paschal’s.

This is just a start. You’ll find that continuing for longer than a month is easy (and delicious).

Immerse Yourself in Attractions

People looking at the exhibits at Apex Museum in Atlanta.
The APEX Museum is one of of Atlanta’s must-see Black-history stops. (📷 Chris Watkins)

For more glimpses into Black history, visit the Madam CJ Walker Museum/WERD Radio, celebrating both America’s first female self-made millionaire (which inspired the Netflix series “Self Made,” starring Octavia Spencer) and the first Black-owned radio station. Check out the APEX Museum, Hammonds House Museum, Auburn Avenue Research Library, Trap Music Museum and the Wren’s Nest, too.

Bonus: If you are traveling by air, leave some time before your departure or after your arrival to tour the civil rights exhibit at Hartsfield -Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Find “Good Trouble: A Tribute to Congressman John Lewis,” in the Domestic Terminal atrium. There also is a  display about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. near the escalators on Concourse E.

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