Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Atlanta: A Day in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Backyard

Martin Luther King Jr.'s home
Martin Luther King Jr.'s home

My civil rights movement information hunt started with an arresting experience at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama. As the “I Have a Dream” speech beamed on TV, I knew where the next location would be: Atlanta’s Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.

This museum sits in an Atlanta community known as “Sweet Auburn.” In the early 20th century, amidst segregation and the accompanying Jim Crow laws, this neighborhood fostered African-American businesses, social organizations and congregations. Atlanta’s first black-owned office building and daily newspaper (The Atlanta Daily World) were founded here. “Sweet Auburn” was coined by its unofficial mayor, John Wesley Dobbs, after he referred to it as “the richest Negro street in the world.”

The museum’s design and content did not supply a chill-level experience, but it was pleasantly laid out. A short film can be watched before beginning the self-guided tour.

After leaving the small theatre, a tour guide let us know about MLK’s birth home tour. This is a must-do for the visit. And like the museum admission, it’s completely free. Signing up for the birth home tour can only be done in person and on the actual day of the tour, though, so arrive early if you’re here during a holiday or on a weekend (hours 9am-5pm or 6pm depending on the season).

Our group of fifteen people walked past one block lined with small, humble houses, then a second block incongruously boasting of sizeable homes and showcasing entirely different architectural styles. Auburn Avenue truly did house the poor and rich, tying them into the same community.

Dr. King’s birth home is not on the poor block – it’s a two-storied, three-bedroom, two-bathroom house complete with a living room, game room, dining room and kitchen. The King family was not roughing it. Grandfather Williams and Daddy King (Martin’s father) had earned a healthy salary as Episcopal Church pastors during their respective times.

As we viewed the master bedroom, our guide went on to explain that MLK and his two siblings were born in the house. There was a nearby segregated hospital in town, but the King family refused to use its services.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s back yard

Dinners were eaten with the entire family every night, and the children had to recite newly memorized verses from the Bible before eating. Conversations would include the kids’ opinions – Daddy King focusing on the projections of voice and conviction levels while Mrs. King kept watch on the grammar. MLK’s powerful usage of the English language, which he would later use while bellowing those flowery speeches, was clearly no coincidence.

Strolling through the neighborhood that helped shape one of our country’s key leaders, imagining the daily life in the King house (with accompanying stories) and feeling privileged to walk through a part of Dr. King’s upbringing was nothing short of unforgettable.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Kahlee310’s snitch rapper reactions

“He’d literally do anything for the money or fame”
Next Article

“I Come From the Andromeda Galaxy”

Alfred Howard, James Brady, Me, Myself and Eye, Orchid Mantis, Puttin’ on the Fritz
Martin Luther King Jr.'s home
Martin Luther King Jr.'s home

My civil rights movement information hunt started with an arresting experience at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama. As the “I Have a Dream” speech beamed on TV, I knew where the next location would be: Atlanta’s Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.

This museum sits in an Atlanta community known as “Sweet Auburn.” In the early 20th century, amidst segregation and the accompanying Jim Crow laws, this neighborhood fostered African-American businesses, social organizations and congregations. Atlanta’s first black-owned office building and daily newspaper (The Atlanta Daily World) were founded here. “Sweet Auburn” was coined by its unofficial mayor, John Wesley Dobbs, after he referred to it as “the richest Negro street in the world.”

The museum’s design and content did not supply a chill-level experience, but it was pleasantly laid out. A short film can be watched before beginning the self-guided tour.

After leaving the small theatre, a tour guide let us know about MLK’s birth home tour. This is a must-do for the visit. And like the museum admission, it’s completely free. Signing up for the birth home tour can only be done in person and on the actual day of the tour, though, so arrive early if you’re here during a holiday or on a weekend (hours 9am-5pm or 6pm depending on the season).

Our group of fifteen people walked past one block lined with small, humble houses, then a second block incongruously boasting of sizeable homes and showcasing entirely different architectural styles. Auburn Avenue truly did house the poor and rich, tying them into the same community.

Dr. King’s birth home is not on the poor block – it’s a two-storied, three-bedroom, two-bathroom house complete with a living room, game room, dining room and kitchen. The King family was not roughing it. Grandfather Williams and Daddy King (Martin’s father) had earned a healthy salary as Episcopal Church pastors during their respective times.

As we viewed the master bedroom, our guide went on to explain that MLK and his two siblings were born in the house. There was a nearby segregated hospital in town, but the King family refused to use its services.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s back yard

Dinners were eaten with the entire family every night, and the children had to recite newly memorized verses from the Bible before eating. Conversations would include the kids’ opinions – Daddy King focusing on the projections of voice and conviction levels while Mrs. King kept watch on the grammar. MLK’s powerful usage of the English language, which he would later use while bellowing those flowery speeches, was clearly no coincidence.

Strolling through the neighborhood that helped shape one of our country’s key leaders, imagining the daily life in the King house (with accompanying stories) and feeling privileged to walk through a part of Dr. King’s upbringing was nothing short of unforgettable.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Mexico after the millenium

Smuggling, TJ nightlife, deported, TJ as hip destination, can't stop thinking about TJ, cross-border kidnapping
Next Article

Albert Brooks’ mockinfomercial introduction

The glad-handing human laugh track, assures his audience, “That was funny.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close