Civil Rights Bus Tour of Atlanta
November 19 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm$10
How much do you know about Civil Rights in Atlanta? There is so much history right here in our back yard! Join the experts at Etgar 36 as they lead us on a journey through time, visiting key sites in our city where history was made.
We’ll visit the original site of the Pencil Factory and learn about the lynching of Leo Frank, a local Jew who was wrongfully convicted of murder. Then we’ll visit The King Center, and we’ll walk in Dr. King’s footsteps from Ebenezer Baptist Church to his birth home two blocks away. Our final stop is the AIDS Quilt, which reminds us that the movement is not over. A full description of our itinerary can be found below.
Tickets are $10 per person, which will help us cover the cost of renting a bus.
Etgar 36 is generously donating their time and knowledge to us. (Feel free to thank them accordingly with a donation or by recommending them to friends and family! Learn more at https://www.etgar.org)
LOGISTICS: We’re kicking it old school. School bus, that is. We will meet at the parking lot of the King Center. (Be sure to use 411 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. as the address, NOT the actual address of the King Center.) We’ll leave our cars there and load our big yellow bus, which will take us to each of our stops and return us to our cars at the end of the day.
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COMPLETE DESCRIPTION: Our program is designed to educate through experience, and by visiting locations where history was made. Our half-day starts at the site of a former pencil factory operated by a local Jew, Leo Frank, who was lynched in 1915 for a murder he did not commit. The story of Leo Frank helps frame the rest of our Civil Rights discussions. His lynching helps us understand the danger and terror that Southern activists faced, as opposed to their Northern counterparts. This is crucial to understanding why people may have chosen to remain silent – as well as the heroism of those who did act.
From the pencil factory we head over to the King Center. The beauty of the King Center is that you can walk in the footsteps of Dr. King’s life in two blocks. At the King Center we discuss the history of Sweet Auburn Avenue and the power of having a self-reliant, self-sufficient community. Outside of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King’s father and grandfather preached before him, we discuss the crucial role that the church played in the movement, both as a spiritual support, but also as a safe meeting place for activists. From there we take a short walk up to Dr. King’s birth home. Standing in front of his home we explore how the Auburn community shaped King’s worldview. Finally, we pay our respects at his tomb and take time for reflection.
Our last stop is to see the AIDS quilt at the headquarters of the Names Project. The last thing we want is for people to go on our Civil Rights Journey and think that the movement is over, or exists only in the past. The Names Project helps contextualize the Civil Rights movement in the modern day. There we meet with the Executive Director of the Names Project, who discusses her work as well as her firsthand account of witnessing the horrors of the AIDS epidemic. Our hope is that our participants begin to see that any time a group of people are marginalized and denied a voice it is a civil rights issue. We want people to leave with the message that there is no “other,” only another – another human being who we can relate to.