Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Come enjoy this special community day, which features inspiring performances, programs, and historical simulations that highlight contributions and stories of African Americans in Atlanta. Explore and be a part of the conversation.

Among this year’s highlights is a performance of Walking Through the Valley written by Addae Moon, Atlanta History Center’s Director of Museum Theatre. Set in 1963, a young activist is asked by the "powers that be” to alter the language in a speech he’s written for what will become an historic event. He envisions a conversation with four iconic freedom fighters in an effort to decide whether a compromise will best serve the greater good.

This is a free admission day. Guests are invited to enjoy the program as well as Atlanta History Center’s historic houses, gardens, and exhibitions.


Schedule of Events

Featured Experience

Walking Through the Valley: A Journey Towards Freedom
Woodruff Auditorium
Shows start promptly at 11:00am, 1:00 pm, 3:00pm
Duration: 45 minutes

Appropriate for all ages.

Join us for this limited staging of Walking Through the Valley: A Journey Towards Freedom. In 1963, a young activist has been asked to alter the language in a speech he has written for what will become a historic event. He envisions a conversation with four historic freedom fighters in an effort to decide if a compromise with the “powers that be” will serve a greater good.This play, written and directed by Atlanta History Center’s Addae Moon, focuses on the March on Washington and historic figures like John Lewis, John Brown, Ida B. Wells, Sarah Grimke, and
A. Philip Randolph.

Museum Theatre Experiences

Freedom Ride Simulation
Grand Overlook Ballroom
10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm
Duration: 45 minutes

Parental guidance is suggested.

Do you have what it takes to become a Freedom Fighter? Travel courageously into the Deep South on a Freedom Ride with CORE representatives and test new laws banning segregation on interstate buses in this interactive museum theatre simulation.


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 Civil War soldier who volunteered for the United States Colored Troops in 1863. As you are presented with various real-life scenarios, you must make vital decisions that could affect your life and well-being.


Connie Curry
Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta Exhibition
10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm
Duration: 15 minutes

Gather in the diner to meet Connie Curry as she trains a new group of student volunteers for SNCC and explores her journey in the struggle for civil rights.

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
Olympic Gallery
10:15am, 11:15am, 1:15pm, 2:15pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm
Duration: 12 minutes

Meet Rosalyn Walton, of the Atlanta Nine, as she is being interviewed by a reporter and discovers that being a regular teenager is just as difficult as being a trailblazer for civil rights.

Film Footage Viewings

“I Have a Dream” (1963)
Coca-Cola Cafe
10:30am, 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 over 200,000 people in Washington, D.C. in 1963.

Featured Highlight

View the just-opened exhibition Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow, which explores the African American struggle for full citizenship and racial equality that unfolded in the 50 years after the Civil War. Created by the New-York Historical Society in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, this touring exhibition highlights the ways African Americans advocated for full inclusion in American democracy from 1865 through World War I.

To interpret Atlanta’s part of the national story, Atlanta History Center has expanded Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow with locally relevant materials from the collections of the History Center, Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library, Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, High Museum of Art, and Georgia Museum of Art.

Ongoing Activities

Activities and Crafts

— Make protest buttons and signs

— Create inspiring resistance poetry

— And more!


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