Many venues offer discounted admission or plan special programming during February, to highlight the history and contributions of African Americans. We’ve put together a list of fun things to do during Black History Month, and will continue to add items as we find them — so check back often.
BONUS: Lyft is offering a $10 discount to help you get there!
It’s true! 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.
Attend the Black History Month Parade in Downtown Atlanta
Saturday, February 23, 2019
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
This annual parade takes place in the historic Sweet Auburn district of downtown Atlanta. The parade begins at Hurt Park. Some of the best viewing places are:
- Along Peachtree Center Ave.
- Near the Intersection of Peachtree St. and Marietta St. (Near Five Points MARTA Station)
- Along Marietta St., between Woodruff Park and Centennial Olympic Park
The official route is as follows:
- Parade begins at Hurt Park, near the intersection of Gilmer St. and Peachtree Center Ave.
- Proceeds south on Peachtree Center Ave. for two blocks to Decatur St.
- Turns right (west) on Decatur St., which then becomes Marietta St.
- Proceeds down several blocks of Marietta St. to Baker St.
- Turns right (east) on Baker St. and enters Centennial Olympic Park at the north entrance (between Baker St. and Centennial Olympic Park Dr.)
The parade is free to attend.
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. And during February, the museum is presenting work by African-American artist James Brooks.
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. No reservation is needed to take a tour. For more information, see the Herndon Home Museum website.
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.
Visit and 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 Skeleton Crew, which runs from February 12th to March 10th. It tells the story of factory workers in Detroit during the Great Recession in 2008, as they share their hopes and dreams and band together as family. 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 13th 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.
Attend the Roswell Roots Festival of Black History & Culture
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 view a complete calendar of events on Roswell’s city website.
- FREE art exhibit highlighting black artists
Roswell City Hall
Monday — Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jan 28th thru Feb 28th
- FREE: 3rd Annual Roswell Roots Arts Festival
Roswell Doubletree Hotel
1075 Holcomb Bridge Rd.
Saturday, February 23 — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Original art and handmade items by Atlanta artists and craftsmen will be available for purchase
Join in the Gwinnett County Black History Month Celebration
Thursday, February 21 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Gwinnett Justice & Administration Center
75 Langley Drive
1st Floor Atrium
Gwinnett County is joining forces with the United Ebony Society for its annual Black History Month Celebration. This FREE event features performances, speakers, and presentations. If you’d like to attend, please register online with Eventbrite.
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.
Enjoy FREE Admission to the Center for Civil and Human Rights
Thanks to a generous grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation, admission to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is FREE from January 28 through February 28, 2019. This makes the museum highly accessible all through Black History Month. Adult admission is usually $20, so if you’ve been wanting to visit this hometown landmark, now is your chance. The center is downtown, near Centennial Olympic Park.
NOTE: Even though admission is free, you need a complimentary ticket for a specific date and time. See our article for more information.
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. The hour-long tours begin at Oakland Cemetery’s Bell Tower, and will be offered on:
- Thursday, February 7 at 1:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, February 12 at 1:00 p.m.
- Saturday, February 16 at 1:00 p.m.
- Saturday, February 23 at 1:00 p.m.
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.