The city of Atlanta, home to Martin Luther King Jr., is rich with African American history and culture. During the month of February cities around the nation celebrate Black History Month, and Atlanta is proud to showcase some of its most historic African American sites and programs. It’s also a wonderful time for the community to come together to celebrate with parades and festivals and to enjoy dance, food and friends. Explore new locations and re-visit museums during this month of learning about the past, present and future.
1st Annual Black History Month Parade
Sat February 25, 2012
Hours: Noon to 5 p.m.
In its first year, the Black History Month Parade will march through the historic MLK/Sweet Auburn District of Atlanta. If you want to see the parade, it’s recommended you arrive before the start time at noon on Saturday at the corner of Park Place and Auburn Avenue. The celebration keeps going until 5 p.m. on Fort Street and Auburn Avenue. Onlookers will enjoy marching bands from around the world, celebrities sports stars and entertainers, food, speeches and performances, so be sure to bring a camera. This is a perfect event in which to bring the family.
Good Deeds International (GDI) and The Heritage Ball 2012
February 16 to 19, 2012
Marriott Gateway Host Hotel
2020 Convention Center Concourse
Atlanta, GA 30337
Price: $40 for the ball
Ball Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
With different activities celebrating black history month daily, this weekend event is sure to be substantial. The first night opens with a meet and greet at the newly refurbished Marriott Gateway Host Hotel. The weekend itself is packed with steppin’ classes, fashion shows, a Civil Rights Arts Gallery, African drummers, tours of Atlanta and more. The biggest and most popular event of the weekend is the ball itself on Saturday. Attendance to just the ball is $40. Be sure to check out the website for a complete list of daily events.
Atlanta History Center
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sun – Noon to 5:30 p.m.
Price: $14.50 adults, $11 seniors 65+ & students 13-18, $9 youth 4 – 12, children under 4 free
Through March 4, 2012, the Atlanta History Center will be showcasing the exhibit “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment.” Apollo Theater was one of the first theaters in the nation to integrate African American and Latino audience members and acts. This exhibit shows a rare inside perspective on the impact this theater had on American entertainment and African American life in the 20th century.
Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Museum
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This is a not-to-be-missed free museum that even has free parking. Be sure to sign up early for the tour to the home where Martin Luther King Jr. was born, walk back across the street to see the church in which he preached (Ebenezer Baptist), and see his final resting place in the park. A museum filled with historical facts and photographs about the life of this infamous leader and role-model surrounds the center.
Related: History Of The MLK Memorial
Hammonds House Museum
Hours: Tues to Fri – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat & Sun – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m
Price: $4/adults, $2/ children, students and seniors
The Hammonds House is an art gallery set in a beautiful Victorian style home that houses all pieces from artists of African American descent. The collection includes 350 art works from dated back to the mid-19th century. The museum has also developed a handout called “Viewpoint” for kids to help explain and let them follow along in the various exhibits in the museum.
Related: Best Art Museums In Atlanta
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Stacy Sheets is native to Atlanta. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia. Stacy is a freelance writer who enjoys keeping abreast on the best Atlanta has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.