Photo: National Center for Civil and Human Rights
Black History Month is a time to remember and celebrate the legacy of Black leaders, creators, and barrier-breakers that have and continue to push the needle towards progress and equity. This year, we are highlighting some of our favorite Black-owned businesses in the Atlanta area and shining a light on how we can invest in our community, today, tomorrow, and every day.
Place to Eat:
This spot gets a lot of foodie love for its fresh bread, cheese, pestos, and flavor-packed sandwiches, soups, and salads. Owner Marche Sparks opened this Kirkwood gem in 2008 and while she is gaining accolades, diners should know that it’s a family affair. Her father helps out and is often at the restaurant, as did her late mother. Make sure to try the French toast sandwich and the Grits Stack with eggs, cheddar, Georgia shrimp, and bacon. Click here
Kelvin and Mandy Slater opened their restaurant on the roof at Ponce City Market, and people have flocked there ever since. The elevated beer garden offers sweeping, unobstructed views of Atlanta as well as craft beers from all over the world and shareable food.
This is perhaps Atlanta’s best-known “meat and three.” It was launched in 1947 by Lucy Jackson when restaurants were still segregated. The restaurant regularly makes the lists for “best-fried chicken.” Other favorites are neck bones, Joe Lewis ham hocks, and red velvet cake. Click here
Located near Mercedes-Benz Stadium Paschal’s is an iconic local restaurant where civil rights leaders and business elites would meet during the civil rights struggle to discuss how to end segregation. It still serves some of the best-fried chicken in town.
This well-known barbecue joint on Memorial Drive is where you’ll find everyone from state troopers to musicians. Among the specialties are the ribs, Brunswick Stew, and mozzarella cheese sticks. Click here
Where to Shop:
LaToya Tucciarone founded SustainAble in 2017 and now offers fair and ethically made artisan goods, hand-picked decor, and accessories online and at Ponce City Market. In addition to artisan products, SustainAble features a variety of ethical design services, such as developing custom pieces, styling spaces, and providing design recommendations.
After great success with programming and events for Black startups at locations throughout Atlanta, Lakeysha Hallmon and the Village family took their company’s call-to-action, “Support is a Verb,” to the next level. The Village Market opened its first-ever retail location, The Village at PCM in November 2020 on the second floor of the Central Food Hall at Ponce City Market, next to Root Baking Co.. The marketplace curates apparel, furniture, food, and other products by local Black business owners, artists, and creatives. The brands rotate every four months.
The largest African American-owned gallery in the Southeast is in Castleberry Hill. Adorn your walls with art by local, living African American artists or view the exhibitions online and hit the merch page to support the gallery.
Things to Do:
Auburn Avenue has long been the center of Black history, culture, business, and spirituality in Atlanta. Consider taking a self-guided walk down the Avenue to experience landmark institutions, local businesses, and public art, and be sure to spend time with the recently-completed interpretive signage and underpass mural that share the unique history and culture of the surrounding community. Here is a sample itinerary for your visit.
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. Celebrate Black History Month at The Center with activities and programs, both on-site and online, for the entire family.
In accordance with guidance from the CDC, all buildings within the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park are temporarily closed, but visitors are welcome to park and take a self-guided tour of their campus and the King Center's grounds, including the crypt of Dr. and Mrs. King, Freedom Walkway, and the Reflecting Pool.
For 42 years, The APEX Museum has reigned as Atlanta’s first and oldest Black History museum. Located on Auburn Avenue, the mission of the APEX Museum is to interpret and present history from an African American perspective. APEX is currently open on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and requires timed tickets to help guests maintain appropriate physical distance.
During your visit to the Children's Museum, stop by the Stage, Science Bar, and Creativity Café to learn about prominent African Americans in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art! The museum will host interactive storytimes, hands-on activities, and exciting experiments all month long. View the full programming schedule here.
Downtown Atlanta Tours
Many tour operators in Downtown Atlanta highlight unique stories of black history and achievement while taking you through our community by foot, by bike, or by vehicle. A few we recommend are:
Looking for more information about Atlanta's vibrant culture and history? Contact our team! We’d love to share some of our favorite spots with you.