For decades, Sweet Auburn was Atlanta's black downtown - a city within a city where African Americans created the institutions they were excluded from by white Atlanta. Though the construction of I-75/85 in the 1940s cut the neighborhood in half, it became the hub of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s and has remained the center of Atlanta's black life and culture. Several of the neighborhood's early 20th century churches, homes and commercial buildings are in good shape, making for an excellent walking tour. One of them houses the African American Panoramic Experience, known as APEX, which has several exhibits on the area's history and a movie about the neighborhood.
Several blocks of Auburn Avenue have been designated part of the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site, in honor of the civil rights leader who was born here in 1929. King's birthplace is open for tours. A block west is Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King preached. Across the street is the Martin Luther King Jr Center for Non-Violent Change, which has a visitors' center and exhibits on the civil rights campaigner's life and work. King's tomb is on view at the site.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE -- the birthplace of America's foremost civil rights leader at 501 Auburn Ave. (Wheat Street in the post-Civil War era)
This Queen Anne style residence, built in 1895, has been restored to its appearance during the years from 1929 (when King was born) until 1941, when the King family moved to another location. Other historic buildings in this area include the Wheat Street Baptist Church and Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, as well as a number of residences that formerly belonged to prominent Atlantans who helped to shape the character of Sweet Auburn. In turn-of-the-century Atlanta the district earned the reputation throughout the South of being a community in which black people could prosper.
I believe that Martin Luther King, Jr was one of the 3 best men this country has produced. He did so much for humanity in his life. This is his birth place. It's on Auburn Avenue and worth the visit.
Visit the childhood home, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. King was pastor. A large memorial and museum, as well as Dr. King's final resting place.