The birthplace of many of the nation’s most prominent civil rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta has rich connections to its black community. February is Black History Month and a great time to introduce children to the history of the city that has done so much to shape black culture. Read on for five ways to celebrate civil rights with our next generation of community leaders.

AuburnAve

Go For A Walk: Sweet Auburn District
Coined by political leader and unofficial “mayor” of Auburn Avenue, John Wesley Dobbs, the district was celebrated for its abundance of black businesses, newspapers, churches and nightclubs. Its sidewalks are lined with the homes of past civil rights leaders and remnants of B.B. King singing the blues at a local juke joint. You’ll also find the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.

Address: 501 Auburn Avenue NE
Online: www.nps.gov

BusyBee

Grab A Bite: Busy Bee Café
When we say this is the best fried chicken in Atlanta, we mean it! If Martin Luther King, Jr. were here, we’re pretty sure he would agree. After all, it was his favorite restaurant, and their walls are lined with the photos of famous black faces to prove it. The menu offers the perfect soul food experience, complete with collard greens and yams. And, oh, the sweet tea! It seats just like a 1950’s mom and pop restaurant, so don’t expect much seating or elbow room. Stop in for lunch or dinner or get there early for brunch on the weekends.

Address: 810 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW
Online: www.thebusybeecafe.com 

KingPreaching

Bear Witness: Ebenezer Baptist Church
It was at this historic place of worship that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his first sermon and eventually became a pastor. Featuring all the makings of a traditional Southern Baptist church, the gospel choir alone is enough to take you back to an era past and get your children out of their seats. Services are held on Sundays at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Address: 101 Jackson St.
Online: www.historicebenezer.org 

BHMParade

Get In Step: Black History Month Parade
Old meets new at the annual Black History Month parade. Filled with music and dancing, this colorful spectacle of sorts highlights the diversity of black culture. Held on Saturday, February 22, the parade begins at the corner of Auburn Avenue and Peachtree Center Avenue and continues east to Jackson Street.

When: Saturday, February 22, 2014, 12:00 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Online: www.blackhistorymonthparade.com 

HammonHouse

Paint Them A Picture: Hammonds House Museum
Where heritage meets modern art and your budding Basquiat can leave inspired, Hammond House Museum offers the opportunity to explore the artistic richness and diversity of artists within the African diaspora. The “Time, Experience and Wisdom” exhibition opens Sunday, February 2nd and features sculptures and works on paper.

Address: 503 Peeples St. SW
Online: www.hammondshouse.org

How will your family celebrate Black History Month? Tell us below!

—Nicole Williams

Photos courtesy of Busy Bee Cafe via FacebookHammonds House Museum via Facebook, Black History Month Parade via Facebook, King Center via Facebook and Creative Commons via Flickr