CENTER FOR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS, Atlanta, Georgia

Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia
Last week, on a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, I went to the Center for Civil and Human Rights, a visit particularly meaningful as this is February, which is Black History Month, and especially in light of current events in the U.S. and around the world.

Mural in the lobby at the entrance to the museum
Located at the end of Centennial Mall on the edge of downtown Atlanta, the museum has three floors of exhibits–The American Civil Rights Movement (second floor), Human Rights (third floor), and special exhibits on the ground floor.
The entrance to the museum from the plaza is on the second floor and from there I proceeded to the American Civil Rights exhibits through a gauntlet of photos from the years of segregation.
Entrance to exhibits chronicling the American Civil Rights Movement
The left side depicts all white schools, churches, parties, social events and sports under a neon sign “White” and on the opposite wall, under a neon “Colored” sign, is a collage of parallel events from the “colored” world.
Aerial photo of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963, and Leaders' Itinerary
At the other end of the entrance hall are a series of rooms packed with photos, quotations, videos, interactive exhibits chronicling Jim Crow laws, the battle for school desegregation, voting rights, freedom riders, the march on Washington for jobs and freedom, and much more. 
One can sit on a stool, like those at the lunch counters where sit-ins took place, and put on earphones that allow you to experience vicariously the epithets and abuse heaped on the sit-in participants. The Civil Rights exhibit ends with the assassination of Martin Luther King.
The stairway to the third floor of the museum, a replica of the Lorraine Motel where he was killed, leads to exhibits focusing on human rights worldwide.
In contrast with the dark rooms of the second floor, the upper floor of the museum are filled with light from the tall glass windows. Large panels and interactive exhibits invite the participation of viewers.
Justice We Shall Pursue (2010-2013), Quilt donated by the Peach State Stitchers
A beautiful quilt titled "Justice We Shall Pursue" depicting a tree of life surrounded by quotes and colorful patches representing 42 countries of the world hangs in one of the galleries on the third floor. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." This quote, in the center of the quilt, attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, reflects the hope that people will keep working to make the world a better place.

On the lower level of the museum is a gallery for special exhibits, currently showing a selection of the Martin Luther King papers in the Morehouse College collection. These include papers and his transcript from his student years, notes and syllabi from courses he taught, favorite books, and more. (Photographs were not permitted.)

Post a Comment

0 Comments