History - Atlanta Magazine
Articles on Atlanta History

W.E.B. Du Bois's Legacy Deferred

Atlanta University Center's most prominent professor ever finally gets his due

There’s no single, clear reason why, in late 1943, Atlanta University president Rufus Clement unceremoniously fired W.E.B. Du Bois, the university’s most acclaimed academic. Read More

Bittersweet Auburn

The landmark district is named endangered—again

For the second time in twenty years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has put the Sweet Auburn district—once Atlanta’s center of African American business and culture—on its “endangered” list. Read More

John Lewis's campaign mugshot

The congressman draws on an image from a 1960s arrest

John Lewis’s 2012 reelection staff decided to embrace the congressman’s civil disobedience record with merchandise featuring a photo from the activist’s 1963 arrest at an Atlanta Toddle House sit-in. Read More

The murder of Alberta King

June 30, 1974

On Sunday June 30 1974, Alberta Christine Williams King played “The Lord’s Prayer” on the organ of Ebenezer Baptist, the church where her father, A.D. Williams, her husband, Martin Luther King Sr., and son, Martin Luther King Jr., all had served as pastors. Read More

Atlanta's "Berlin Wall"

December 18, 1962

In December 1962, Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. ordered barricades to be built across two Atlanta streets to discourage black citizens from purchasing homes in an adjacent all-white neighborhood. Read More

The integration of Atlanta Public Schools

August 30, 1961

On the morning of August 30, 1961, nine African American students headed for the first day of classes at four all-white Atlanta high schools. They were shadowed by hundreds of reporters, dozens of police officers, and crowds of parents, politicians, and onlookers. Read More

50 Who Made Atlanta: Martin Luther King Jr.


The greatest orator of the twentieth century inspired seismic changes at home that reverberated around the world. Read More

Coretta Scott King


Her husband grew up in the heart of Auburn Avenue, the center of black America. She grew up on a cotton farm in rural Alabama. That made all the difference. Read More

Hosea Williams


Hosea “Hosey” Williams served as a Georgia legislator, Atlanta City Council member, and DeKalb County commissioner, but his extracurricular activities earned him the most notoriety. Read More

Jesse Hill

(b. 1927)

Jesse Hill had his finger in every pie during the civil rights era, from the AUC student sit-ins to the election of Maynard Jackson. Read More