Explore Atlanta’s rich Black history at museums like APEX, uncovering untold stories and culture 📖
Exploring the Rich Black History of Atlanta Through Its Museums
Atlanta, Georgia has a vibrant African American community and several remarkable museums that document the city’s rich black history. From civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. to the origins of hip hop and trap music, Atlanta’s museums comprehensively showcase the trials and triumphs of black Americans over time.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit the African American History Museum in Atlanta?
Many of Atlanta’s top African American history museums have affordable entry fees, ranging from free admission to the King Center to around $10-20 for museums like the APEX Museum, Trap Music Museum, and National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Buying a CityPASS can bundle discounted admission to sites like the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
How Long Does it Take to Tour the African American History Museum in Atlanta?
With multiple buildings and exhibits, plan at least 2-3 hours to see the main highlights of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights or Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Smaller museums like the APEX Museum or Trap Music Museum can typically be seen in 1-2 hours. Pacing yourself and reading all the exhibit details can fill half a day or longer in the larger museums.
The APEX Museum: Atlanta’s Oldest Black History Museum
The APEX Museum in the historic Sweet Auburn district of downtown Atlanta provides an immersive look at over 200 years of African American history. Founded in 1978 by veteran filmmaker Dan Moore, it is Atlanta’s oldest black history museum. Through exhibits like “Africa the Untold Story,” it aims to portray history from an African American perspective. Visitors can watch informative videos chronicling the journey of Africans to America at the museum’s trolley theater on Saturdays.
The APEX Museum brings Atlanta’s black history into the present with tributes to modern history makers and changemakers. It is a quaint but powerful place to visit to celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to American and global society.
Honoring an Icon at The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
A few blocks from the APEX Museum, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site includes his birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached, and the King Center where he is entombed next to his wife, Coretta Scott King. Walking through the site provides insight into King’s life and leadership during the civil rights movement.
The visitor center also has exhibits documenting the struggle for racial equality and the 1955-1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott sparked by Rosa Parks’ protest. Exploring the historic site and exhibits takes 2-3 hours to fully appreciate.
Immersing Yourself in History at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta uses high-tech, interactive exhibits to immerse visitors in the stories of the American civil rights movement. One memorable installation lets you sit at a 1960s lunch counter to feel what it was like for student activists conducting non-violent sit-ins to protest segregation.
The Center broadens its scope to cover ongoing fights for human rights around the world. With thoughtful presentations and provocative questions, it pushes visitors to think about enacting positive social change in their communities. Plan on spending 2-3 hours seeing the rotating special exhibits along with the core civil rights galleries.
Celebrating Black Music and Culture at the Trap Music Museum
While civil rights history is vital, the Trap Music Museum celebrates the vibrant youth culture that emerged in Atlanta’s African American community. It thoroughly documents how the city birthed a hip hop subgenre fusing thoughtful lyrics with energetic beats. Atlanta natives like T.I., Gucci Mane, Lil Baby, and others pioneered trap music starting in the 1990s.
The museum has artifacts, memorabilia, and videos tracing trap music’s evolution and impact. It showcases both the struggles and successes of hip-hop artists through the years. You can easily spend 1-2 hours learning about this genre that put Atlanta on the hip hop map.
More Notable African American Museums to Explore
In addition to the museums above, Atlanta has several more institutions dedicated to African American art, history, and culture. The Hammonds House Museum contains artwork from across the African diaspora in the former home of Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds. The Clark Atlanta University Art Museum emphasises art and artists from the African diaspora.
The Atlanta History Center contains the exhibit “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” to teach about the African American experience. The High Museum of Art and Michael C. Carlos Museum host events and displays relevant to African American history and culture.
Atlanta’s diversity of museums can satisfy anyone wanting to celebrate black history and culture year-round. From artifacts of influential leaders to the sounds of the streets, these museums showcase African Americans’ societal contributions, activism, creativity, and perseverance. They provide windows into the rich history and culture of black Atlanta across many eras.