Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

ironchapman

Civil Rights Museum

29 posts in this topic

Recently, we've heard more and more talk about building a civil rights museum in Atlanta. It is a great way to honor and remember an important part of Atlanta's--and our nation's past.

So, one of the questions that has been raised is where we should put it. Some sites that have been suggested are Centennial Olympic Park (with the GA Aquarium, World of Coke, etc.), somewhere in Sweet Auburn (along with the MLK Jr Center, etc.), and the old Macy's building. A panel recently released a report on this.

Where do you think it should go? Should it be in one of those suggested areas, or should we build it in another area?

As much as I'd like to see it go in Centennial Olympic Park to help further establish the area as a tourist district, I think the museum's rightful home is in Sweet Auburn where most of the rest of Atlanta's civil rights museums, memorials, and monuments are. It seems to have a greater connection with the area.

Feel free to use this topic to discuss further updates on the museum as well. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The Sweet Auburn District, no doubt. But I can see how, from a tourism (and thus economic) standpoint, the Centennial Olympic Park area would seem to be more feasible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that between the free land from Coke and the suport of the King children for the Auburn Avenue site, the park site is going to win out. Dexter and MLK III have so disgusted the vast majority of the public that even without the free land from Coke, their support of Auburn Avenue would be a negative thing.

You also have to remeber that the scope of the museum is not MLK, it is not Atlanta civil rights icons, it's not the struggle for civil rights for African-Americans. The scope is much much broader than that. In a way, putting it at Auburn Avenue would suggest that the focus is much more narrow. Since it is going to cover a wide range of civil and human rights, I don't see a strong tie to Auburn Avenue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what is the proposed scope of this museum? If the predominant focus is the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's and 1960's, then I think Auburn Avenue would be a better fit. I'm not sure what Dexter and MLK3 have done to gain the disdain of the public, but I wouldn't think that would have a whole lot to do with it (and Bernice advocates a site on Auburn as well). However, whatever the scope, I think a case could be made for greater exposure in the Centennial Olympic Park area.

On the AJC poll, most people are pretty much split between those two sites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Auburn Avenue without a doubt. The Coke site is designed to attract folks to the World of Coca-Cola and the Aquarium.

The ties to the Civil Rights Movement goes hand in hand with Sweet Aururn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What does Auburn Avenue have to do with the right of women to vote or the fight of homosexuals for equal rights? Both are going to be part of the museum as proposed. The scope will be way beyond just the stuggle for African-Americans to obtain equal rights in the US and may even include human rights fights across the world.

As far as Dexter and MLK III go, they've used the King Center as their personal ATM. The place has been mismanaged and the money raised in their father's name used for things like Dexter's attempt at becoming a Hollywood star (didn't work) and personal spending money. They want to federal government to give them millions to fix the King Center since they wasted the money elsewhere. The place is falling apart and some buildings are becoming structurally unsound. Few to none of the educational programs they said they were going to use money raised for have actually happened. You can find plenty of articles in the AJC about their exploits. Given their past actions, cynics can be forgiven for believing that the King brothers only want the museum in Sweet Auburn in order to line their pockets with more money. They made a huge amount of money selling their father's papers so if they really want to have the museum on Auburn Avenue, then they can buy some land and donate it to the museum (but first they should fix the King Center and actually implement some of the educational programs they said they would).

Here's a bit of info from the LA Times:

It was a bad week for civil rights leaders with streets named after them. On Saturday, the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, and NYT all bashed nepotism, sibling rivalry and mission failure at the King Center in Atlanta, founded in 1968 to pursue the slain leader's nonviolent vision. Those pieces and original reporting by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year documented the steep decline of Dr. King's dream.

The stories echoed Miriam Pawel's reporting in the Times on cronyism, insider deals and unraveled purpose at the United Farm Workers, the labor union founded by Cesar Chavez.

On Saturday, the LAT's Jenny Jarvie played up the "bitter squabble" between King's children over a proposal to sell the center to the National Park Service. "The kids have only used their daddy's image to make money," Atlanta businessman Wellington Howard told the Times. The center, officially called the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change Inc., "no longer offers programs on nonviolence," Jarvie writes. "Nothing happens at the center anymore," said former board member and interim director William "Sonny" Walker. "All four of those King offspring ought to say: 'What would Daddy do?' "

The NYT and WSJ (pay site) both touched on the family dispute and focused on an institution in decline. The NYT described the "stagnation and disrepair" at the center Coretta Scott King established. (She suffered a stroke last summer, and she had previously relinquished control of the center to her children.) "The center really had the potential to be a nonviolent change agent," Atlanta community leader Mtamanika Youngblood told the NYT. "That opportunity may be gone." The WSJ (pay site) casts the story as a family drama, quoting former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, the only non-King on the center's board, who told reporters King's children "have never had a chance to define who they were" and are ready to prove they can be more "than just the kids of Martin Luther King."

The AJC's editors took a skeptical view last February after the paper reported that King's son Dexter acted as the center's chief operating officer while pursuing a career in Hollywood, that his for-profit company marketing King received $3 million from the King Center since 2000 for providing office staff, and that more than half the charitable donations to the center since 2003 went to Dexter King's company. "While the nation owes the slain civil rights leader an indelible debt for his sacrifices, that marker doesn't extend to opportunistic family members who have chosen to pursue mammon at the expense of his still uncompleted mission," they wrote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What does Auburn Avenue have to do with the right of women to vote or the fight of homosexuals for equal rights? Both are going to be part of the museum as proposed. The scope will be way beyond just the stuggle for African-Americans to obtain equal rights in the US and may even include human rights fights across the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Thanks for the link; the report was informative.

I see where it is mentioned that the museum will cover topics relating to various human rights struggles, but I still get the sense that the most prominent feature will be its coverage of the Civil Rights movement. I think this can be seen in the setion "Key Themes the Working Group Envisions in the Content and Presentation" (p. 10 of the Working Group report). However, over the years, I would expect other struggles to get more coverage, as many as still in their early stages.

Given the financial considerations, I can see why the COP site is the most preferred, especially if they want to build debt-free. I have no objection to that whatsoever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the link; the report was informative.

I see where it is mentioned that the museum will cover topics relating to various human rights struggles, but I still get the sense that the most prominent feature will be its coverage of the Civil Rights movement. I think this can be seen in the setion "Key Themes the Working Group Envisions in the Content and Presentation" (p. 10 of the Working Group report). However, over the years, I would expect other struggles to get more coverage, as many as still in their early stages.

Given the financial considerations, I can see why the COP site is the most preferred, especially if they want to build debt-free. I have no objection to that whatsoever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scoop - It's because those of us who have lived here for a while have grown very tired of the antics of the King children. They have milked their fathers legacy for all it's worth - and frankly, a lot of us find it sickening.

I no longer take out of towners by the King Center. It's a total rundown mess that simply doesn't do justice to the memory or works of such a great man.

Now the birth home, and the National Park Service-run facilities are a different matter entirely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scoop - It's because those of us who have lived here for a while have grown very tired of the antics of the King children. They have milked their fathers legacy for all it's worth - and frankly, a lot of us find it sickening.

I no longer take out of towners by the King Center. It's a total rundown mess that simply doesn't do justice to the memory or works of such a great man.

Now the birth home, and the National Park Service-run facilities are a different matter entirely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I still take many guest to the center and hope to take them to the new museum, if it is built in Sweet Auburn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would seem that scoop has an agenda - one which I personally want no part of.

I'm out of this thread.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


This Luckovich cartoon sums up nicely the antics of the King Children:

MLKLuckovich1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scoop, obvioulsy the civil rights movement is something that was very important too you, as it was for a lot people as well. So why would you not visit a museum celebrating it if its not on Auburn Ave? From a business standpoint, putting the museum in CP near the Aquarium and WOC would ensure its sucess and appeal to a larger audience than just the African American community, which would be the "perceived" target audience if placed on Auburn Ave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We blacks have always been willing to go out of our neighborhoods to intergarte this society. I feel that it's time for the greater society to embrace our efforts to attract others to venues in our communities. We've been reaching out for a few decades now.

Locating the museum in Sweet Auburn wouldn't be exculsive to the African American community, it would be linking to the root of inspriration for the museum to begin with, the King Legacy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We blacks have always been willing to go out of our neighborhoods to intergarte this society. I feel that it's time for the greater society to embrace our efforts to attract others to venues in our communities. We've been reaching out for a few decades now.

Locating the museum in Sweet Auburn wouldn't be exculsive to the African American community, it would be linking to the root of inspriration for the museum to begin with, the King Legacy. Part of the problem with our communities is related to pure economics or lack thereof. Many of us have to leave our communities just to obtain decent employment and shopping opportunities. If we could attract more work centers and other positive situations, then we could help our community's bottom line.

Some think that I have an agenda because of my candid comments, but I just want the same things that other groups want for their communities. What's wrong with that?

Many are unwilling to have straight froward discussions such as this one. Some withdraw from them because of their inability to be honest about that which is on the table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with you that it's impossible to place a Civil Rights museum in Atlanta while ignoring Atlanta's contributions to African American rights. It will be the major part of the museum. But right now, Atlanta is trying to create something by placing all of these tourist attractions near each other; that way, they can feed off of one another. You have to admit that the museum would be much more successful near the World of Coke and Aquarium.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to see the King papers today, (and actually snuck a few pictures on my phone) and I was actually moved by the exhibit. I always thought of King as an overated Civil Rights Mogul. He was, but seemed to be the madonna of most civil rights leaders. After reading his papers, I have so much more respect more for them. I encourage all to see them, it is a blessing to our city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with you that it's impossible to place a Civil Rights museum in Atlanta while ignoring Atlanta's contributions to African American rights. It will be the major part of the museum. But right now, Atlanta is trying to create something by placing all of these tourist attractions near each other; that way, they can feed off of one another. You have to admit that the museum would be much more successful near the World of Coke and Aquarium.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There have certainly been some tremendous civil rights leaders from Atlanta, but the city itself doesn't exactly have the most illustrious track record when it comes to race relations. Don't they say Atlanta is still one of the most segregated cities in the country?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem. I also think it's important to note that the Atlanta metro area includes more predominantly Black affluent neighborhoods than your average metro area. So residential segregation may not necessarily positively correlate with impoverished minority neighborhoods in the Atlanta area to the same degree it does in other metro areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.