The Martin Luther King Jr. Museum is located on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia. It was established on October 10, 1980. The aim of establishing the museum was to preserve the life history of one of the most famous black Americans, Martin Luther King Jr. I visited the site on Wednesday the 11th of March, 2015, and was fortunate to join 10 other visitors. A curator showed us the Birth Home of King Jr. from 10 am to 11 am. However, there were no museum guides to show us other buildings that are on this national historic site. Therefore, I had to join another group of visitors, who we toured the remaining buildings by ourselves. Initially, I had mixed reactions when I first saw the site. However, I was moved with joy to see where the brave black American who spearheaded equality and fairness in America originated. At the same time, I was engulfed in sorrow when I remembered this extraordinary man who did not live long enough to see the fruits of his work.
The site contains several buildings, including the Freedom Hall, the Birth Home of King Jr., the Ebenezer Church that King Jr. used to pastor together with his father, the famous Fire Station No.6, the King Center, the Visitor Center, and the graveyards of Mr. and Mrs. King Jr.
One of the fascinating things that I found at the site was the Freedom Hall. This hall house exhibits that talk about King Jr., his wife, Mahatma Gandhi, as well as Rosa Parks. The Grand Foyer is also housed in the Freedom Hall. According to the National Park Service (2015), the Grand Foyer presents artwork from the continent of Africa, with the staircase lining being decorated with the spell tree that grows in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Grand Foyer also features art from Georgia.
The Visitor Center was also one of the most memorable places that I saw. The Center, which was constructed in 1996, has the ‘Courage to Lead’ exhibit. This exhibit compares the life, beliefs, and ideologies of King Jr. to the activities of the Civil Rights Movement. It is an exciting exhibit that is presented to the visitors in a multimedia form. The change that King Jr. advocated matches the kind of change that Sarye (2011) explained as crucial for the development of a nation that is full of racial discrimination and inequality. Another important exhibit in the Visitor Center was the ‘Children of Courage’ exhibit. The exhibit is mainly for children, although it contains information that can be learned by people of all ages. The whole story of the children who participated in the Civil Rights Movement is explained candidly through this exhibit. It impacts strong values on children by teaching them that one can take part in the positive development of their nation, regardless of their age.
My visit to the museum was a fruitful and memorable experience. Although I did not get enough time to visit the Ebenezer Church, I had the chance to interact with different people, who we chat with about the life and ideologies of King Jr. and the impact that he had on the black Americans. I could hear one of the visitors saying that “if it was not for the sacrifice and undying efforts of the late Martin Luther King Jr., then America would not have the current black president.” It was such a fascinating tour that I resolved to encourage most of my friends to visit the museum. I also purposed to visit at least three more museums before the end of this year.
Sarye, H. M. (2011). The humanities: Culture, continuity and change. Pearson: Pearson Publishers.
The National Park Service. (2015). Martin Luther King Jr. Museum. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S Department of the Interior.