RCC members learn about Atlanta’s history

By Anne Keever Cannon, APR

Tear stains are still visible on the veil worn by Coretta Scott King at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral. The veil is on exhibit at the Center for Nonviolent Social Change. (Photo by Anne Keever Cannon, APR.)

Some 25 RCC members got a close-up look at Atlanta’s heart Thursday.

They visited the neighborhood where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was born, grew up and ministered. They saw his alma mater, Morehouse College, and learned a bit about the city’s vibrant downtown.

The bus stopped first at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park. The area stretches several blocks along Auburn Avenue. It includes the house where the civil rights icon was born and grew up; Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he served as assistant pastor; and the crypt where King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are buried.

The church is the area’s center. It’s been restored to look as it did when King ministered there in the 1960s. It’s no longer an active church – the congregation built a new home across the street in 1999 to accommodate growth.

Granite blocks feature footprints of international civil rights heroes. The walkway is part of the Martin Luther King Jr. visitors center. (Photo by Anne Keever Cannon, APR.)

The park’s visitor center features exhibits, videos and displays. Highlights include a memorial rose garden and the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. You can see granite blocks with the footprints of men and women – like Maya Angelou and Ralph Abernathy – who’ve made a real difference in racial equality.

The King Center’s Freedom Hall offers displays on Dr. and Mrs. King, Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks. Between the hall and the church is a reflecting pool surrounding the Kings’ tombs. Nearby is an eternal flame, symbolizing the Kings’ undying commitment to their community.

As the bus drove toward the Atlanta University Complex, the guide pointed out Centennial Olympic Park, Mercedes Benz Stadium (new home of the Atlanta Falcons) and other major landmarks.

The complex is the home of four historically Black colleges – Morehouse, Spelman, Morehouse Medical School and Clark Atlanta University.

The tour gave the group a taste of Atlanta. Many members hope to return to learn more about this biggest city in the southeast.

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