Celebrate Black History Month 2021 in Downtown Atlanta
February 01, 2021
This February, find numerous ways to observe, explore, and celebrate Black History Month in Downtown Atlanta, either in person or from home.
Auburn Avenue has long been the center of Black history, culture, business, and spirituality in Atlanta. Consider taking a self-guided walk down the Avenue to experience landmark institutions, local businesses, and public art, and be sure to spend time with the recently-completed interpretive signage and underpass mural that share the unique history and culture of the surrounding community.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. Celebrate Black History Month at The Center with activities and programs, both on-site and online, for the entire family. And did you know the Center is one of the first cultural institutions to utilize Siemens thermal imaging and air purification technologies to safely reopen during the pandemic?
Online opportunities: We Share the Dream digital exhibit + virtual tours
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site + The King Center
In accordance with guidance from the CDC and recommendations from public health authorities, all buildings within the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park are temporarily closed, but visitors are welcomed to park and take a self-guided tour of our campus and the King Center's grounds, including the crypt of Dr. and Mrs. King, Freedom Walkway, and the Reflecting Pool.
Though Historic Oakland Foundation's guided walking tours of the cemetery’s African American Grounds have sold out, consider a self-guided tour! Maps can be purchased online. Additionally, you can take a free, self-guided tour of the African American Grounds by phone by dialing (678) 365-0232. Stops along the tour include the final resting place of some of Atlanta’s black history pioneers, including Carrie Steele Logan, founder of Atlanta’s first orphanage for African American children; William Finch, one of Atlanta’s first African American city councilmen; Bishop John W. Gaines and Julia A. Gaines, pastor and First Lady of Big Bethel A.M.E. Church; and Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African American mayor.
Auburn Avenue Research Library
This community amenity always boasts a robust event calendar, and Black History Month is no exception. In February, log in and RSVP for a selection of book talks, film screenings, panels, and community engagement discussions regarding the Civil Rights Movement, the African Diaspora, race, identity, and much more.
For 42 years, The APEX Museum has reigned as Atlanta’s first and oldest Black History museum. Located on Auburn Avenue, the mission of the APEX Museum is to interpret and present history from an African American perspective to help all Americans and international visitors better understand and appreciate the contributions of African Americans to America and the world. APEX is currently open on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and requires timed tickets to help guests maintain appropriate physical distance.
Online opportunity: On February 5, Refuge Coffee Co. and The APEX Museum present a virtual night of soul-filled spirituals as they ring in Black History Month.
Children’s Museum of Atlanta
During your visit to the Children's Museum, stop by the Stage, Science Bar, and Creativity Café to learn about prominent African Americans in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art! The museum will host interactive storytimes, hands-on activities, and exciting experiments all month long. View the full programming schedule here.
Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame
To celebrate Black History Month, the Hall presents Blood, Sweat, and Tears, an exhibit that tells the story of integration in college football and dives deep into the journeys of African American trailblazers that forever changed the landscape of the sport. College Football & HBCUs - Their Story is a new limited engagement special exhibit that features an inspiring collection of stories, artifacts, and college football treasures from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Online opportunity: Historian and Curator Jeremy Swick hosts the "Not Your Average Hero" web series, in which he converses with various pioneers in the sport of college football. Episodes will premiere on the College Football Hall of Fame YouTube each Monday in the month at 12:00PM (EST):
Unique Downtown Atlanta Tours
Many tour operators in Downtown Atlanta highlight unique stories of black history and achievement while taking you through our community by foot, by bike, or by vehicle. A few we recommend are:
- Civil Bikes (private tours)
- King Historic District Tours by Unexpected Atlanta
- "Atlanta From the Ashes" Woodruff Park History Tour (free)
More Ways to Celebrate and Observe
- Visit Black Light Winter Activation: A Visual Ode to Hip Hop and Black Resilience on the Broad Street Boardwalk, curated by Power Haus Creative and ft. the work of Phyllis Iller.
- Patronize a Black-owned business, including restaurants, many of which are located in or adjacent to Downtown. Just a few we recommend: iwi fresh Farm-to-Skin Spa, Sweet Auburn Bread Company, Atlanta Breakfast Club, For Keeps Books, ZuCot Gallery, Big Dave's Cheesesteaks, and Wilbourn Sisters Designs.
Are there additional offerings you think should be listed here? Contact us at email@example.com.
Feature image by Stanchez Kenyata