Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park

United States of America

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) remains one of the most prominent civil rights leaders of the 20th century. His work was instrumental in advancing civil rights for African Americans throughout the United States and establishing a legacy of activism remembered around the world. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, King grew up in the Auburn Avenue neighborhood which was a cross-section of wealthy and poor African American families with many individuals owning their own business. This neighborhood and the community leadership modeled by his father and grandfather, greatly shaped Dr. King’s activism later in life. Three blocks from his birth home, King attended the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where his father and grandfather were pastors. King became co-pastor of the Church in 1960 until his death in 1968. On the day of his funeral, tens of thousands gathered outside the church, filling the streets of the Sweet Auburn neighborhood that had so greatly shaped his character. Thanks to the work of Coretta Scott King in preserving her husband's legacy, the area along Auburn Ave including the church and birth home was designated a National Historical Park in 1980. Restoration work at the site allows visitors today to walk in the footsteps of Dr. King and connect with a community in Atlanta that remains central to the advancement of civil rights and justice today.

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