The Albany Civil Rights Institute opened in 2008 and features exhibitions on the history of slavery in America to present time, and specifically, how the town of Albany played a pivotal role when it came to voting rights, nonviolent protests and more. The location of the Institute is in Albany’s Old Mt. Zion Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to crowds in 1961.
Location: Albany - 326 W Whitney Ave; Facebook: @albanycivilrights; Contact: 229-432-1698
Apex Museum (Atlanta)
“APEX” stands for “African-American Panoramic Experience.” This small but mighty museum located in the Sweet Auburn district of downtown Atlanta offers quarterly exhibits of both African and African American history and culture to educate visitors from all over the world about the contributions of the African diaspora.
Location: Atlanta - 135 Auburn Ave NE; Website: apexmuseum.org; Contact: 404-523-2739
Jack Hadley Black History Museum (Thomasville)
The small town of Thomasville is located in southern Georgia, near the Florida border. It hosts the Jack Hadley Black History Museum, which was established in 1995 by historian James “Jack” Hadley for the purpose of educating both visitors and locals about African American history. The museum hosts over 4,500 pieces of significant African American items collected by Hadley over the years.
Location: Thomasville - 214 Alexander St; Website: jackhadleyblackhistorymuseum.com; Contact: 229-226-5029
The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change (Atlanta)
While the King Center considers itself more of a center that promotes research, education and training on nonviolent social change rather than a museum, it does hold multiple exhibits focused on Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks. Explore a variety of items on display of personal and historical significance to these famous figures.
Location: Atlanta - 449 Auburn Ave NE; Website: thekingcenter.org; Contact: 404-526-8900
Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History (Augusta)
This Augusta museum in a quaint house honors the legacy of Lucy Craft Laney, Georgia’s most famous woman African American educator who served as the founder and principal of the Haines Institute from 1883 to 1933. Exhibits showcasing the talented works of notable African Americans are displayed in the museum.
Location: Augusta - 1116 Phillips St; Website: lucycraftlaneymuseum.com; Contact: 706-724-3576
National Center for Civil and Human Rights (Atlanta)
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, located in downtown Atlanta, focuses on both the American Civil Rights Movement as well as global human rights issues. Interactive exhibits bring visitors closer to the experiences of those who participated in the movement, such as lunch counter sit-in simulations and more. Learn more about iconic human rights struggles and successes, both domestically and internationally.
Location: Atlanta - 100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW; Website: civilandhumanrights.org; Contact: 678-999-8990
Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum (Savannah)
Ralph Mark Gilbert was the 13th pastor of the First African Baptist Church in Savannah and was known as the “father” of Savannah’s role in the American Civil Rights Movement due to his activism with the local chapter of the NAACP. The museum is fittingly located on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Savannah and features three stories of interactive exhibitions that showcase Savannah’s important role in American civil rights history, including events such as the Savannah Boycott.
Location: Savannah - 460 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd; Website: rmgcivilrightsmuseum.com; Contact: 912-777-6099
Tubman Museum (Macon)
Named after famous American abolitionist Harriet Tubman, the Tubman Museum in Macon celebrates and shares the rich history of African Americans and their role in social engagement and change. Exhibitions include galleries focused on black artists, folk art and decorative arts throughout history.
Location: Macon - 310 Cherry St; Website: tubmanmuseum.com; Contact: 478-743-8544
BONUS: Atlanta History Center (Atlanta)
While the Atlanta History Center showcases a “broader” view of Atlanta history beyond just Black history, Black history is part of the story that has shaped Atlanta. The topic has its place within the Atlanta History Center, even if it isn’t always front and center. Exhibitions frequently change, so be on the lookout for exhibitions that focus specifically on Black history from time to time.
Location: Atlanta - 130 W Paces Ferry Rd NW; Website: atlantahistorycenter.com; Contact: 404-814-4000