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The King Center, Atlanta

#47 of 267 in Things to do in Atlanta
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (“The King Center”) has been a global destination, resource center and community institution for over a quarter century. Nearly a million people each year make pilgrimage to the National Historic Site to learn, be inspired and pay their respects to Dr. King’s legacy.

Both a traditional memorial and programmatic nonprofit, the King Center was envisioned by its founder to be “no dead monument, but a living memorial filled with all the vitality that was his, a center of human endeavor, committed to the causes for which he lived and died.” That vision was carried out through educational and community programs until Mrs. King’s retirement in the mid-1990’s, and today it’s being revitalized.

As we move into the second decade of the 21st century, the King Center is embarking on a major transformation into a more energetically-engaged educational and social change institution. Supported by our Board of Directors and an infusion of new thinking, the King Center is dedicated to ensuring that the King legacy not only remains relevant and viable, but is effectively leveraged for positive social impact.
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402 reviews
  • This was beautiful, powerful, and historical all at once. So many emotions just standing at this site.  more »
  • Very tranquil place to pay your respects to Dr. Martin Luther King and his wife. The eternal flame symbolizes MLK's vision and a reminder to keep it alive. They also have places to sit to reflect...  more »
  • If you're ever in Atlanta this a must come to see. You get to learn about a lot of things from the years past. Everything is free, but they do accept donations. I hope that after you tour this beautiful place that it will touch you enough in way that you will appreciate the things that these people went through just so you can enjoy life now.
  • The King Center is a world-class venue in Atlanta designed to provide visitors with experiences that embody the life work and beliefs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I have benefited from and been enormously enriched by my experiences and associations with the King Center and the adjacent historic area. I teach creative writing classes for senior citizens regularly at two Fulton County senior centers located just blocks from the Center. From time to time I stop at the original Ebenezer Baptist Church to meditate and hear Dr. King's words in his own voice. A number of the participants at the Mills Senior Facility knew Dr. King and his family personally. Their memories and stories are deeply moving. Recently, I performed for the King Center's Beloved Community International Expo, which brought together representatives from consulates and embassies from 25 + countries and 5 continents. This free to the public outdoor event was remarkable in the accessibility to culture, arts, food and information freely given from each of these countries. Event passports were distributed. Passport holders were able to get their passports stamped as they traveled the grounds of the King Center and spoke with representatives from the countries they selected to visit. I was honored to represent the country of Ireland as a spoken word performer, flautist, choreographer and director from Gateway Performance Productions. The events I have attended and participated in as an artist at the King Center over the years have always been outstanding. One of the highlights of my career was when I received a request from the King Center to represent them at the Chinese Cultural Center by performing a poem written by one of the students during the time of protest in China in Tiananmen Square. The poem begins with these words, " Mother. Mother, I am dying..." and so I supposed the young student was dead. Imagine my surprise when after I completed the performance the author of this poem rushed to the stage to embrace and thank me. The student was very much alive - brought to safety in the United States of America.

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