Next to the World of Coca-Cola sits a modest building that houses the Center for Civil and Human Rights. The exhibits in this building give visitors a powerful insight into life during The American Civil Rights Movement. Most of the museum focuses on the 1950s and 1960s, but it also includes modern day activism. If you have ever been to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. or the 9/11 Museum in New York, this museum creates similar emotions and promotes deep reflection. It was much more impactful than we were expecting, but we are so glad we went!
The Center was not nearly as crowded as the World of Coke. We went later in the morning and had no trouble seeing all of the exhibits. Walking through and reading everything will take you about two to three hours. Want the most valuable experience? Make sure to see these four exhibits:
This is by far the most real, shocking and emotional experience in the museum. With headphones on and your eyes closed, this simulation transports you to a cafe where you’ll participate in a non-violent sit-in protest. The experience cannot be described in words. It is scary, unnerving, and very impactful.
Voice to the Voiceless: Martin Luther King Jr. Collection Gallery
Provided by Morehouse College, this exhibit displays artifacts from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. Over 30,000 artifacts are rotated into the display at the museum every 4 to 6 months. When we went in December, the theme was women and their role in the Civil Rights Movement. In the exhibit were letters to Dr. King from his wife, secretary, and the First Lady at the time, Eleanor Roosevelt. While Dr. King was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement, he had a lot of support from many women who don’t often get credit for their accomplishments. It was a powerful display of the collaboration that went into the fight for Civil Rights in America.
The March on Washington
Everyone has heard of the March on Washington in 1963, but did you know 100 buses made the trip from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. to participate in the march? Did you know that officials were expecting around 100,000 people to participate, but that 250,000 actually showed up? That there wasn’t a single reported crime during the march despite the large crowds? These are just some of the facts you can learn in The March on Washington gallery. Video footage and accounts from the day bring this pivotal event in American history to life.
Jim Crow Laws/Sweet Auburn
This exhibit shows the dichotomy between the Jim Crow Laws and Sweet Auburn. The symbol of African American empowerment contrasted with the restrictive Jim Crow Laws is the perfect epitome for what occurred in America just prior to the Civil Rights Movement and is a must-see exhibit at the museum.
The Center for Civil and Human Rights recreates an important part of American history. Truthfully, we weren’t as excited to visit this museum compared to the other exhibits in the CityPASS. It can be hard to revisit the past and see the hurt, loss, and evil that was displayed in our country, but we are so glad we went. The exhibits pack a powerful punch and promote personal reflection. If you’re visiting Georgia and interested in learning more about American history, culture and activism, the Center for Civil and Human Rights is a cannot miss Atlanta attraction.
Disclaimer: The Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau provided us with two complimentary Atlanta City Passes to cover admission to The Center for Civil and Human Rights. We were not otherwise compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.