Spring 2009: Alumni Ink

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Leading the Way

Sacred Places: A Guide to the Civil Rights Sites in Atlanta, Georgia

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By Franchesca Winters 10C

Throughout the twentieth century, Atlanta served as a central hub for one of the most significant social movements in American history. In Sacred Places: A Guide to the Civil Rights Sites in Atlanta, Georgia (Mercer University Press, 2008), authors Harry Lefever 71PhD, professor emeritus of sociology at Spelman College, and Michael C. Page, the geospatial librarian of the Robert W. Woodruff Library and an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, delve into the century-long history of the city’s most famous civil rights sites. “Many [readers] know about events in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma in Alabama . . . but don’t know that there was also an Atlanta movement,” said Lefever. “I hope the guide will help them experience the people, events, and symbols associated with these sites with the deep respect and reverence they deserve.” Divided into four tours, the guide explores thirty-seven civil rights locations like Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home, the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Booker T. Washington High School. While the first three tours focus on sites within individual neighborhoods, the final tour highlights a handful of significant civil rights sites scattered throughout the city, including Pickrick Cafeteria, the restaurant that former governor Lester Maddox chose to sell rather than serve black patrons, and The Bridge, a sculpture honoring Congressman John Lewis.

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