Updated for 2020!
There is so much to do and so many places to explore during Black History Month in Atlanta. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to talk about black history in America at all without mentioning Atlanta. Our city has seen remarkable achievements from the civil rights leaders, musicians, athletes, politicians, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who’ve called Atlanta home.
Throughout February, we honor the contributions of of African Americans and the legacy of Black History Month.
Many venues around town are offering special activities, programs, free admission, or discounts as a way to involve the whole community. We’ve put together a list of things to do during Black History Month in Atlanta and the suburbs, and will continue to add items as we find them — so check back often.
Sadly, the Black History Month Parade is canceled for 2020, as the event is restructured. Watch for the Atlanta Black History Month Parade to return in February of 2021, bigger and better than ever.
NOTE: Since we’re publishing this post early, it’s very likely we’ll continue to add more Black History Month events as we find them.
Bookmark this and check back, browse our events calendar for February, or subscribe to our newsletter for up-to-date info!
Take advantage of FREE Admission Day at the Center for Civil and Human Rights
Thanks to a generous grant from FedEX, admission to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is FREE on Saturday, February 1, 2020. There are extended hours that day, so you can visit from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The free admission day is in commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the first Woolworth Lunch Counter Sit-Ins. Get more info here.
The center is an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American civil rights movement to the current global human rights movement. Exhibits use powerful imagery, historic artifacts, and compelling storytelling to inspire visitors.
Visit The APEX Museum
Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Adult admission $7
APEX is an acronym for African-American Panoramic Experience. The mission of the APEX Museum is to accurately interpret and present history from an African-American perspective. Permanent exhibits include Sweet Auburn, Women in STEM, The Georgia Negro, and more. A new exhibit is devoted to Black Inventors.
A new exhibit at the APEX Museum highlights the contributions of black inventors.
Tour the Herndon Home Museum
Tours offered at the top of each hour, on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Seniors, students, and military $7
Completed in 1910, the Herndon Home was the residence of Alonzo Herndon, Atlanta’s first black millionaire. Herndon was a former slave who became a barber after the Civil War; he invested his income in real estate and later founded the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, located in Sweet Auburn.
The house is a two-story, 15-room mansion in the French Beaux-Arts style, located in Atlanta’s Vine City neighboorhood. For more information, see the Herndon Home Museum website. You can book your tour online.
Dine on Soul Food at Paschal’s Restaurant
Monday — Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday brunch 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday dinner 5 to 9 p.m.
Paschal’s Restaurant was a common meeting place for civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King. It has moved from its original location to a spot at 180 Northside Drive, but the walls are still lined with framed photos of influential leaders from the past.
You can read a timeline of Paschal’s history on its website. This restaurant is famous for its fried chicken.
Learn About Atlanta’s South-View Cemetery
Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1990 Jonesboro Rd. SE
South-View Cemetery has a rich history, though it is not nearly as famous as Oakland Cemetery. It was chartered after the Civil War by former slaves, who were prohibited from laying their loved ones to rest in white cemeteries. Martin Luther King was originally buried in South-View, before being moved to the grounds at the King Center.
South-View is Georgia’s oldest and arguably most historic African-American cemetery. You can visit it and take a self-guided walking or driving tour.
Visit the Hammonds House Museum of African-American Art
Wednesday – Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday – Sunday, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Adult admission $7
Under age 12 FREE
See a Play at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company
Tony-award winning stage director Kenny Leon founded True Colors Theatre Company in 2002. The vision was to continue the rich tradition of black storytelling, while providing opportunities for African-American playwrights and performers.
Currently on the stage is a play titled School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play. It runs from February 11th to March 8th. From the website: Focusing on issues that teenagers face around the globe, [the play] is a fearless comedy that confronts our concepts of self-esteem and beauty.
For a limited time, you can buy half-price tickets for $20 through a Goldstar deal. The play is being staged at the Southwest Arts Center in Atlanta.
Take the Kids to the Children’s Museum of Atlanta for Special Activities
Special programs are free with a paid admission (see museum hours and prices here)
All through February, special activities at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta will highlight African-American history. Special programming for Black History Month will be included in:
- Music & movement
- Art studio projects
- Science Bar
- Build-it lab projects
NOTE: Wednesday, February 5th is Family Free Day at the Children’s Museum.
For information on how to register for a free, interactive session, see the museum’s website. This preregistration is required in order to participate.
Attend the Roswell Roots Festival of Black History & Culture
January 24th through February 29th, 2020
Visit the website
During the month of February, the city of Roswell will feature a series of special exhibits and events devoted to black history and culture. Many of them are free, including library story hours, art exhibits, and musical performances. You can download a complete calendar of events and brochure on Roswell’s city website.
- FREE art exhibit featuring work by elementary students
Roswell City Hall
Monday — Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jan 20th thru March 6th, 2020
- FREE: 4th Annual Roswell Roots Arts Festival
Ann Jackson Gallery
1101 Alpharetta Street in Roswell
Saturday, February 8, 2020 — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Original art and handmade items by Atlanta artists and craftsmen will be on display
View the “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” exhibit
Monday thru Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sundays, 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
This special exhibit will be on display at the Atlanta History Center through June 30, 2020. It explores the African American struggle for full citizenship and racial equality in the 50 years following the Civil War.
While the exhibit was created by the New York Historical Society, our very own Atlanta History Center has enhanced the exhibition with a focus on local stories and artifacts, and programming created specifically for Atlanta audiences.
Don’t forget, if you have a credit or debit card through Bank of America, you can visit Atlanta History Center for FREE through the Museums On Us program. The monthly free days occur on the first full weekend of each month, which means Feb. 1st and 2nd during Black History Month.
Take a FREE Tour of Martin Luther King’s Childhood Home
Daily, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It can be tricky to get a spot on this 30-minute tour of the home where MLK spent the first 12 years of his life. Tours are limited to 15 people and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the tour. There are no advance reservations. The first tour is at 10 a.m. and the last tour of the day begins at 4 p.m.
Your best bet for getting a tour spot? Arrive early in the day, sign up for an empty time slot, and be prepared to wait several hours — you can spend the time visiting the other MLK attractions and historic landmarks nearby.
Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission and parking is free
The MLK National Historical Park includes a number of venues within a few blocks of each other.
If you park in the free visitors’ lot, you can begin your self-guided tour by following the Civil Rights Walk of Fame to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site Visitor Center, where you can pick up information, watch a video, and browse the exhibits. Other MLK-related sites nearby include:
- The International World Peace Rose Garden
- Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church
- The King Center outdoor campus, where the crypt of Dr. and Mrs. King is located, along with the eternal flame and a reflecting pool
- The King Center (collections and exhibits)
Attend a Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church
Services on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Worship on Wednesday service weekly at 7 p.m.
Each Sunday, visitors from around the neighborhood and around the globe attend services at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The church has an open-door policy and welcomes anyone who wishes to visit.
Take a FREE Guided Tour of Oakland Cemetery’s African-American Grounds
In February, the Historic Oakland Foundation is hosting FREE guided walking tours of Oakland Cemetery’s African American Grounds. On these walks, the guides tell fascinating stories that celebrate the lives of black heroes and heroines who have long gone unrecognized, as well as those with familiar names.
Wander Through the Atlanta University Center Historic District
The Atlanta University Center District comprises a group of the country’s most important institutions of higher learning for African Americans. This national historic landmark in Southwest Atlanta includes Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, and Morehouse School of Medicine. Many civil rights movement leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., attended these schools, which have been a progressive force among Atlanta’s black community.
Not yet confirmed for 2020 (we’ll update this deal if it happens again!)
BONUS: Lyft is offering a $10 discount to help you get there! To help you observe Black History Month, Lyft will take $10 off a ride to or from certain historic and cultural sites. Get the promo code and more info here.