A Martin Luther King Jr. Tour of the U.S. South

The National Civil Rights Museum (CC Flickr photo credit: Mike MileyEach year in elementary school, most of us would be anticipating that random day off in January for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

 

The long holiday break had come and gone and any day off was welcome relief. Of course, educators made sure we knew what this day was for, to honor the man who dedicated his life to the civil rights movement.

 

I would study these places where Martin Luther King was born, where he preached, where he lead movements and where he was assassinated, all with pictures in my mind of their settings.

 

After a road trip through the south, I finally was able to see these historic and gripping places dedicated to King’s memory for myself.

 

Those hopping aboard flights to Atlanta who are looking to bring to life King’s time and message can begin where the man himself was born and follow his meaningful, long and hard road toward equality through the United States' South.

 

The Birth Home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta, Georgia: Those who have long admired one of the greatest leaders of our time can see where MLK was born and spent much of his childhood during a visit to 501 Auburn Avenue in Atlanta. The Queen Anne style home lends insight into the early life of the civil rights leader along with many personal items belonging to King’s family. It has been restored to look as it did when King lived here, up until the age of 12. Martin Luther King Jr. was born upstairs in the home on January 15, 1929.

 

Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia: It was from this 1886 church that Martin Luther King Jr. served as co-pastor, helping the church’s cause toward being the spiritual center of the civil rights movement from 1960 to 1968. While King’s ancestors were involved in the church long before he served as co-pastor, MLK joined his family’s pursuit of justice for African Americans inside this house of worship. Both his father and his grandfather were pastors here. Members of the Ebenezer congregation give tours of the old church.

 

Dexter Avenue King Baptist Church and the Dexter Parsonage Museum, Montgomery, Alabama: The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church is where King took the reigns of the Montgomery bus boycott and first preached as a young pastor. Those who want to see where King lived during his time as a pastor in Montgomery can visit the Dexter Parsonage Museum. King and his new wife Coretta Scott King lived in the home from 1954 to 1960. Their furnishings still fill the house, bringing to life the days when King would prepare for Sunday sermons in the study.

 

The National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee: On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. stepped out on to his balcony at the Lorraine Motel and was assassinated. The site of his death would later become the National Civil Rights Museum. The museum chronicles the struggles of African American freedom and equality. A few rooms from the hotel have been left as they were in King’s time, lending a chilling yet moving setting to feel the presence and importance of MLK.

 

The King Center, Atlanta, Georgia: Also referred to as the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, this museum, memorial and educational center is dedicated to the civil rights leader and his cause. Around a million people a year come to see King’s commitment to non-violent social change. The King Center holds important memorabilia including King’s Bible, a handwritten sermon and the key to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where he was assassinated. Aside from the library with the world’s largest collection of books on the civil rights movement, you can also visit King’s final resting place. Inscribed with the words, “Free at Last. Free at Last. Thank God Almighty I’m Free at Last”, MLK’s marble crypt sits outside in Freedom Plaza.

 

CC Flickr photo credit: Mike Miley

Post your Comments












Book with OneTravel

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Cars
From:
To:
Click here for calendar
Time:
Click here for calendar
Time:
Adults:
Seniors: (65+)
Children:(2-11)
Infants on lap:
Infants on seat:
Class:
Save on Bookings with 3+ pax
or hotel stays of 3+ nights
this month withSM25

RecentPosts

  • A Dinner Table Mouthful! How to Say 'Bon Appétit' in 15 Languages Across EuropeComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 17 Nov 2014
  • The French phrase, “Bon appétit,” is often used as a substitute for the lack of an English phrase of the same meaning. While you might hear, “Enjoy your meal,” Bon appétit is one of the most common ways of greeting someone before they chow down. As most of the country gets ready to have a Thanksgiving feast, in case you have a few at your table who don’t speak English or French for that matter, it is useful to know how to wish someone a good meal in some of France’s neighbors. Here’s how to say essentially, “Good appetite,” in 15 European languages....read more

  • Switzerland Celebrates 150 Years of Winter TourismComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0

    1
  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 17 Nov 2014
  • Mention Switzerland and most people immediately dream of skiing in the snowed Alps. And that’s just as many folks from there would like you to think of their beautiful home. Indeed, there’s consensus among the Swiss that their country is the original destination for cold weather fun — and that this coming season marks the 150th anniversary of winter tourism....read more

  • The Next New York Obsession: MeowParlour Cat CaféComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Danielle Thillet, last post 15 Nov 2014
  • The Internet loves two things: coffee and cats. It just seems natural that these obsessions should combine. While cat cafés are not a new concept in many Asian countries, the phenomenon had not yet made permenant residence in the United States - until now. New York as always been a hub for ideas from different cultures to merge together, and next month, the Big Apple will have its very first cat café: MeowParlour....read more

  • Celebrate Claude Monet’s BirthdayComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 14 Nov 2014
  • Claude Monet was born November 14, 1840 in Paris and died December 5, 1926 about 75 kilometres from Paris in his home at Giverny, Normandy. During his prolific career as an artist, he painted hundreds of works of art with a passion to capture his impressions of the French countryside and beyond. With works by the beloved artist and founder of French Impressionism on view across the globe (literally there are numerous “Monets” in museums and galleries on every continent except Antarctica) what better way to celebrate the painters 174th birthday than enjoying the many gifts he left to art lovers?...read more

  • Art in DallasComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Jen Westmoreland Bouchard, last post 13 Nov 2014
  • One of the first things I do when I’m planning a visit to a new city is research the art scene. I was pleased to learn that Dallas has a vibrant and impressive arts community, and is home to several world-class institutions. Here are three places that art lovers should check out the next time they are in the Big D. All of these museums are all located within the Dallas Arts District....read more