Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Free Admission at Atlanta History Center and Atlanta History Center Midtown 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Free Admission at Atlanta History Center and Atlanta History Center Midtown 

Enjoy free admission to Atlanta History Center and Atlanta History Center Midtown in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This special community day includes programming highlighting the contributions and stories of African Americans in Atlanta. Guests enjoy immersive museum theatre performances and inspiring activities for all ages.

Among the highlights is a screening of Frederick Lewis’ documentary Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask, about the life and legacy of the first African American writer to achieve national and international fame, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker

Another highlight is a talk by Adam Parker, author of Outside Agitator: The Civil Rights Struggle of Cleveland Sellers Jr. Fifty years ago, Sellers, the program director of Atlanta's Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, was the scapegoat for the Orangeburg Massacre in South Carolina, one of the bloodiest civil rights events of the 1960s. Sellers served time for the incident, was eventually pardoned, and went on to become a college president. Sellers will be joining the author for this talk.



Schedule of Events

ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER


Ongoing Activities
 

Featured Experience: Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask Film Screening and Conversation
Woodruff Auditorium
1:00pm
Duration: 90 minutes  

Ohio University professor and filmmaker Frederick Lewis discusses and screens segments of his two-hour documentary Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask, chronicling one of the first African American writers to achieve national and international fame. A poet, novelist and playwright who was the son of freed slaves, Dunbar (1872-1906) drew attention with his second collection of verse, "Majors and Minors" (1896), which mixed poems written in dialect with others written in standard English.  

The winner of a regional Emmy Award for Historical Documentary, Paul Laurence Dunbar aired on many PBS affiliates, screened at festivals in Toronto, San Francisco and Atlanta, and has been presented at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati and the Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. More than a dozen of Professor Lewis’ former students made contributions to the project, filming at locations throughout the U.S., editing, composing music, and assisting with research.

 

Featured Experience: Outside Agitator: The Civil Rights Struggle of Cleveland Sellers Jr.
Woodruff Auditorium
3:30pm
Duration: 1 hour  

Author Adam Parker discusses his new book Outside Agitator: The Civil Rights Struggle of Cleveland Sellers Jr. Program director of Atlanta's Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, Sellers became the scapegoat for the Orangeburg Massacre in South Carolina. Eventually pardoned, he went on to direct the African American Studies Program at the University of South Carolina before being named president of Voorhees College, a historically black college in Denmark, South Carolina. Sellers will join author Parker for this talk.

 

Museum Theatre Experiences 

Freedom Ride Simulation
Grand Overlook Ballroom
10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 3:30pm
Duration: 45 minutes

Parental guidance is suggested.  

Do you have what it takes to be a civil rights movement Freedom Fighter? In this interactive theatrical simulation, test your courage by traveling into the Deep South on a Freedom Ride with CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) representatives and help challenge new laws banning segregation on interstate buses.

 

African American Civil War Soldier Experience
Turning Point: The American Civil War Exhibition
11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm
Duration: 45 minutes

Space is limited so please arrive early.  

Take on the role of a real soldier who fought in the Civil War for the United States Colored Troops after volunteering for duty in 1863. Presented with various real-life scenarios, you must make vital decisions that could affect your life and well-being.

 

Newsboy
Kennedy Theatre
11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm
Duration: 15 minutes  

Join a paperboy in 1906 as he educates new recruits on the “tricks of the trade” while highlighting the challenges he encountered as a witness to the Atlanta Race Riots.

 

Rosalyn Walton
Kennedy Theatre
10:15am, 11:15am, 1:15pm, 2:15pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm
Duration: 12 minutes  

Encounter Rosalyn Walton of the Atlanta Nine—a group of trailblazing students who integrated Atlanta schools—as she is being interviewed by a reporter, and concludes that being a regular teenager is nearly as difficult as being a civil rights trailblazer.

 

Film Footage Viewings

“I Have a Dream” (1963)
Kennedy Theatre
10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 4:30pm
Duration: 20 minutes

Watch the landmark speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. as he addressed a crowd of more than 200,000 in Washington, D.C.


Activities and Crafts

  • Make protest buttons and signs
  • Create inspiring resistance poetry
  • And More!


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