Atlanta – Fifty years after a gunman shot and killed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the country continues to honor the legacy of the civil rights leader.
King was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968. Today, the site is home to the National Civil Rights Museum.
In Atlanta, visitors can tour places King spent a great portion of his time: The home he was born in, and Ebenezer Baptist Church. Those historic attractions are on the same street as The King Center.
“It’s a place I like to strategize, think about things as well as just feel a certain level of solidarity of someone that’s been on a similar path to me,” said Mark-Daniel Shelton, a junior at Morehouse College. “So much of what this nation great and so many of the values that have moved us into the 21st-century stem from Martin Luther King and his mentors.”
King’s widow, Coretta Scott King founded the center in June 1968.
“She referred to this as living memorial,” Barbara Harrison, who has been with The King Center for more than 35 years, told FOX8’s Kerry Charles.
“So, it was never to be a place where you come and just see artifacts and to see pictures of him,” says Harrison.
The King Center serves a resource center for visitors. It has more than 10,000 documents from Dr. King’s personal collection, as well as momentous from The Civil Rights Moment. It works to promote Dr. King’s ideals of non-violence, racism and eliminating poverty.
Those who visit the center can walk steps to Ebenezer Baptist Church. Dr. King, his father and grandfather all served as ministers at the church.
On June 30, 1974, a gunman shot and killed Dr. King’s mother inside of the family’s church home.
The civil rights leader’s birth home is one block over from The King Center, and Ebenezer Baptist Church. It is free to tour the house, where King spent the first twelve years of his life.
All three attractions are on Auburn Avenue NE. The area is commonly referred to as Sweet Auburn.