Since 2013, Atlanta History Center has hosted an annual Juneteenth commemoration that connects visitors to this essential moment in national history through a weekend of free programming.
Join us virtually as we honor Black innovation, creativity, and activism throughout the entire month of June 2021.
Juneteenth is a celebration marking an end to slavery in the United States. Though Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, very few people were immediately freed. A full two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation and two long months after Richmond fell, the last enslaved African Americans in Texas were pronounced free people. That momentous date, June 19, 1865, has been proclaimed Juneteenth and celebrated annually ever since.
From discussions exploring the lives and experiences of perseverant African American figures like civil rights leader C.T. Vivian, to a deep dive into historic locations in Atlanta’s African American community, check back often to discover curated resources that will help you and your family learn more about Juneteenth and the rich African American legacy on which our city and country are built.
Juneteenth: A Celebration for a New Age
Trace the remarkable twists and turns in the history of the observance of Juneteenth.Read More
Author TalksAuthor of On JuneteenthMonday, Jun 7, 2021 @ 7:00 pm
Author TalksCo Author of It’s In the ActionMonday, Jun 21, 2021 @ 6:30 pm
Author TalksAuthor of Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of BarbecueWednesday, Jun 23, 2021 @ 7:00 pm
Democracy Powered by You
From Juneteenth to the 4th of July, we invite you to participate in the first-ever Civic Season. This is our chance to redefine how and what we celebrate as we look back at the past, and join in shaping the future!Learn More
Midtown. Heart of the Arts.
With a goal of bringing art to the forefront of the community, Midtown Heart of the Arts showcases the work of visual artists at various physical locations in Midtown Atlanta. In partnership with Midtown Alliance, Atlanta History Center Midtown is host to several dynamic art installations. These artists’ work help facilitate critical dialogue around issues including race, gender, class, and activism. Below is a selection of participating artists whose work challenges our thinking by sharing experiences of those with traditionally marginalized voices in underrepresented spaces.
Chiomma Hall (she/her) is a freelance illustrator based in Atlanta, GA. After graduating with a B.A. in Art History from Auburn University, she moved to Atlanta to continue her education and fulfill her creative dreams. Through a series of trial and error, she draws from the intersections of her identity to partake in dialogue of community, love and friendship as a black queer woman. Her expressive figures vary in color and composition to display queer individuals who exist without shame. It is through her work that she hopes to spark healing conversations for a community she holds so dearly. When not working on projects, she enjoys tea breaks, long walks in historic neighborhoods and home-cooking with her loved ones.
Shanequa Gay fabricates environments of ritual and memorial, depicting amalgamated images of new gods and mythical figures whose lives have been impacted by systematic inequalities. Her work evaluates place, tradition, storytelling and subject matter to develop imaginative dialogues and alternative strategies for self-imaging. Through the gaze of the African-Ascendant female progenitor, she develops counter and reimagined narratives that live within the duality of physical and spiritual worlds, and in doing so, explores the historical and contemporary social concerns of hybrid cultures. In this work, Gay creates a space for Secoriea Turner’s spirit to live on as a saint. She is honored and dawned in gold to reflect her royalty, purity and divinity. Secoriea is housed in a space of covering, protection and infinite flow of devout totem heads.
Fabian “Occasional Superstar” Williams is an Atlanta-based visual and performance artist best known for his murals depicting black cultural icons and civil rights leaders in modern and futuristic contexts. Williams’s vibrant, luminescent work explores themes of liberation, innovation and joy in Black American life, in spite of systemic racism and omnipresent oppressive forces. In this work, Williams hopes to inspire children to imagine a future without boundaries, to see the best version of themselves and the world they live in, and to bring that vision to fruition. “Thoughts turn into things,” says Williams. “When children are free to imagine themselves in the future tense, they create their own reality.”
Kristan Woolford harnesses projection technology to remix digital images that document and collapse moments from the past and present. Projection suggests a casting of alternate realities and a call to see the current and future social climate through a nuanced lens focused on the country’s past. In this digital montage, Woolford explores hope as a catalyst for change and a vehicle for remaining resilient in the face of adversity. In particular, the artist composes layers of visuals and symbols, such as practices of yoga and head wrapping, which communicate how the awareness of mind, body and soul is essential in transcending one’s circumstances.
Experience Sweet Auburn
Celebrate Juneteenth and African American resilience and ingenuity by taking a walking tour of “Sweet Auburn,” a neighborhood that John Wesley Dobbs once called the “richest Negro street in the world.” While at the time, Dobbs was referring to the financial influence of the area, today, as a birthplace of the modern Civil Rights movement, the area is replete with historical significance. This tour was co-curated by Historic Atlanta and Atlanta History Center.
Juneteenth offers families an opportunity to talk about freedom and the experiences of African-Americans in the United States—and reading is a great way to explore these topics.
Though the story of the Atlanta Crackers is well-known, for years, the story of the Atlanta Black Crackers was largely untold.
This summer, along with history and civics organizations across the country, we invite you to join in a program dedicated to the Civic Season.
For more than fifty years, Ethel Mae Matthews worked tirelessly for greater welfare rights for Atlanta’s poor and disabled.
For more than 150 years, unwavering young activists have taken up the torch and blazed their own trail through history.
In 1962, Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. ordered the construction of a barricade served to sever the main line connecting the white and Black sections of the Cascade Heights neighborhood.
Black soldiers have served this country since the Revolutionary War and their stories are vital in creating a more complete, more accurate picture of America’s past.
In August 2020, we commemorate the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment which guaranteed American women the right to vote. However, this was not an inclusive victory.
After engaging in over 60 years of activism and service to the Atlanta community, prominent Civil Rights leader and Congressman John Lewis has died.
David Drake Pottery
David Drake was an enslaved potter in South Carolina. His jars are unique not only for their craftsmanship, but because Drake often etched lines of poetry into the clay while it was still wet.Learn More
We invite you to meet Black Atlantans who made history as educators, artists, legislators, soldiers, and more. This virtual tour offers the full content of the exhibition at Atlanta History Center, and was created by New-York Historical Society.Explore More
Black Landscapes Matter
This curated experience discusses the importance of making connections between the past and present when it comes to racism, injustice, and food access in nineteenth century and present-day Atlanta.Register Now
Super Spies uses hand-drawn illustrations, historical photographs, and fantastic storytelling to explore the untold history of Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Van Lew, and Mary Bowser during the American Civil War.
Become a spy just like Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Van Lew, and Mary Bowser using this cypher to decode the secret message!
Explore some of the major battles the United States Colored Troops were engaged in during the American Civil War with our interactive map
Discover more history as you explore the 127th United States Colored Troops flag and learn more about the artist behind the banner with this interactive artifact exploration!
Enslaved people in the United States resisted the institution of slavery and asserted their humanity and their personhood in many different ways. From running away, organizing uprisings and directly fighting back, as well as clinging to and sharing African traditions which were at constant risk of erasure. One of the many forms of resistance was joining the United States' cause during the Civil War and serving the cause as spies, nurses, and soldiers.
We are excited to bring to you three such stories of Black self-liberation during the American Civil War. History comes to life in these unique lessons created by our Education team in 2020. From brave covert women spies embedded in the Confederacy to the courageous men who fought in the United States Colored Troops—there is sure to be something for everyone in the family to explore.
Lift Every Voice. Playlist.
Clap your hands, stomp your feet, and lift your voice in celebration of triumph, emancipation, and history with these inspirational tunes.
Emma Davis-Hamilton discusses the Freedmen's Bureau in this pre-recorded genealogy presentation. The records of the Freedmen’s Bureau are a rich resource for documenting African American life in the post-Civil War and Reconstruction eras.
Honoring the life and legacy of Atlanta’s most well-known civil rights leader.
For nearly 20 years, Atlanta History Center has partnered with the Consul General of Mexico and the Institute of Mexican Culture to host Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on our 33-acre campus.
Atlanta History Center’s annual Veterans Day program honors the sacrifice of the women and men who served in the United States armed forces.