We had the opportunity to visit Dr. King’s childhood home last July in Atlanta, Georgia. The national historic site is administered by the National Park Service (NPS). The site includes a visitor center, and a guided tour to the childhood home that lies on the street of Auburn Avenue. The home is less than a mile away from the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King’s father preached, and is also the church in which Dr. King made his most prominent speeches. In addition, the famous fire station that served the Auburn community is open for self-guided tours.
- A statue of Mahatma Ghandi welcomes visitors into Dr. King’s visitor center. We were surprised by this as our perception of Ghandi was vastly different from that of American history. As native Africans, our history tells us that Ghandi believed in the Indian caste system,”a social structure in which classes are determined by heredity.” According to Ghandi, Africans were at the lowest totem poll of the caste system and he displayed these views during his stay in South Africa. Though Ghandi was known for his non-violent protests in the Western world, we believed the statue placement on Dr King’s historical site was not appropriate. We are telling this portion of Ghandi, as this website is fully dedicated to telling “our stories, our way,” in hopes to shine a different perspective of stories that have a different Westernized version.
- Inside the Visitor center, we were impressed by the overall presentation of Dr. King’s work. It reminded us of a sub-section of the National African American Museum in Washington D.C. in which we could hear Dr. King’s famous speeches over several display TV sets. They also had several statues of Freedom Fighters in a walking motion towards the entrance of the site and it gave us an opportunity to be in the moment of the protest.
- The Gift Shop offers a ton of Dr. King’s memorabilia from mugs, t-shirts, stamps, posters etc.
MLK’S CHILDHOOD HOME
- You must sign up for the tour of Dr. King’s childhood home in advance before your visit. We made this mistake and were unable to see inside the home as all the tours were completely booked.
- Dr. King’s childhood home is located on Auburn Avenue, on a street reminiscent of Queen Anne style homes. We had the opportunity to sit on the front steps and were fulfilled to have had this opportunity.
EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH
- Less than a mile from his childhood home, we visited the historic Ebenezer Baptist church, where Dr. King was ordained as a minister at the age of 19. He was the co-pastor of the church, and his father led the congregation as pastor.
- Dr King was baptized at this church as a child, and later, his funeral was held here after he was assassinated.
FIRE STATION NO. 6
- This fire station served the Auburn community as the population grewfrom hundreds to thousands. Some of the Queen Anne style homes were stacked together on one street, so the need for an official fire department was very urgent.