Martin Luther King Jr.

I didn’t know he was a son of Atlanta. Actually, I realized, I didn’t know that much about him, at all, except his fight against segregation and for human rights, and a vague memory of his ‘I have a dream’ speech that we read in English major in high school.

So I reserved half a day to visit the Martin Luther King Memorial in Atlanta, a small neighborhood centered around the house where he was born, and the Ebenezer Church where he started his path as a preacher.

Ebenezer Church AtlantaClose-by is the visitor center, that gives an interesting overview about the history of race segregation in the US, the century of struggle it took form the emancipation proclamation to the enactment of the civil rights act by Lyndon B. Johnson. And in between, interwoven, Martin Luther King’s life.

I spent the better bart of the morning there, walking through the museum and reading, then wandering through the neighborhood with his birth house. The street has been preserved, so the houses around all loo like they would have looked to Martin Luther King, and the church has been restored to its look in the 1960s.

Birthhouse Martin Luther KingThen there’ is his tomb, lying in the middle of a pool, alongside his wife Loretta, and another little museum, that exposes his Nobel Peace Price (albeit in a fashion you would think it’s a school sports medal, and not one of the highest honors to receive…)

There’s also a little room on Rosa Parks, the woman who refused to stand up for a white person in a bus and hence gave the civil rights movement a boost.

However, that part of the site could really use an overhaul, the whole presentation is somewhat dated and could deliver so much more.

I learned a lot about history of the US, and there are some shocking, moving images and stories. Kudos to the people who had the courage to stand up against oppression.

Somehow I thought about the whole discussion about the US dollar, and the series of Presidents depicted – all white men. No woman. No african American. No native American. Maybe putting one woman up there won’t be enough.

Maybe MLK should be on the dollar, too.

Dollar Martin Luther King Jr