“The birthplace of freedom”
This traditionally black neighborhood of several blocks in Atlanta includes Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he was a pastor, and his gravesite. Martin Luther King, Jr., was the nation's most prominent leader in the 20th-century struggle for civil rights.
Born in 1929, he excelled as a student and graduated from Atlanta's Morehouse College in 1948. Also in 1948 he was ordained at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Following his ordination, he became Assistant Pastor of Ebenezer. He later studied at the Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, then graduate studies at the University of Boston. In 1954, King became the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Following Rosa Parks' refusal to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Martin Luther King, Jr., led the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott from 1955 to 1956 (381 days). In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement.
He moved back to Atlanta in 1960 and was co-pastor with his father at the Ebenezer Baptist Church while still President of the SCLC. Martin Luther King, Jr., worked tirelessly to assure the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was arrested 30 times for his participation in civil rights activities and delivered some of the most famous speeches of the 20th century including his speech at the March on Washington in 1963, his acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace Prize, his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and his final "Mountaintop" speech in Memphis. King was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was helping striking sanitation workers.
Located at 449 Auburn Ave. The King Center for nonviolent social change is also the final resting place of Dr. King. Nearby is also Freedom Hall has exhibits dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and his Wife, Mohandas Ghandi and Rosa Parks. Located on the premises is a bookstore, a theater/auditorium and hallways full of artwork from all around the world. Serenely located in a courtyard sitting atop a plinth jutting out of a reflecting pool is the tomb of Martin Luther King Jr. and his beloved Wife.
We started at the king center, went to ebenezer baptist church, the crypts reflecting pool and memorial center, then to Martin Luther King Jr's birth home, all within walking distance of the free car park. All the sights were informative and moving, though all of them were closing around the time we arrived (5pm). It was great to see such a well thought out exhibit dedicated to one of the most important men in world history, with great insight into his life and work.
Martin Luther King jr. was born in Atlanta and grew up in the small community of Sweet Auburn. In 1980 the National Parks Service declared several buildings an historical site in honor of Dr. King. The site includes the King’s boyhood home, Ebenezer Baptist church, the King center and a Visitors Center.
Plan to spend at LEAST 2 hours if you visit this site! Sprawled across a few blocks are MLK's home, museum, tomb, and center for nonviolent resistance. There are a hundred plaques to read and a lot of rich history to learn. Although MLK is the main attraction, there are also galleries devoted to Rosa Parks and Ghandi. If you are in the area, I strongly advise you to visit these historical sites.
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Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site
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