At one o’clock today, Atlanta city councilman Michael Julian Bond will honor Dante’s Down the Hatch owner Dante Stephensen at city hall with a City of Atlanta proclamation in honor of the restaurateur and jazz promoter’s “contributions to Atlanta’s cultural and business life.” Bond, a regular at the now-shuttered Buckhead nightspot, followed in the footsteps of his civil rights icon father Julian Bond, who was a regular at the original Dante’s Underground Atlanta location in the 1970s. “Dante’s was an Atlanta tradition,” explains Bond. “Locals and tourists alike flocked this unique establishment to experience a taste of the city in a communal fashion. This proclamation is our small gesture to Mr. Stephensen for four decades of service to Atlanta.”
John Lewis came to Atlanta five decades ago as a founding leader of SNCC—the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee—and with an already impressive resume as an activist.
As its name suggests, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, which opens to the public on Monday, is about two struggles—the American one that was fought primarily in the South in the latter half of the twentieth century, and the worldwide one that involves oppressed peoples in distant (and not-so-distant) lands. While there’s an obvious thematic linkage between the American Civil Rights Movement and the broader human rights one, the line between them must have been a challenge for the Center’s designers to straddle. One has a built-in narrative, with a beginning and middle (if not yet an ending), and the other requires navigating the vast space beneath the human rights umbrella, whether it’s oppressed women in Africa, child laborers in Pakistan, or tortured activists in Burma.
Whatever your politics, it’s awe-inspiring to stand in the full-scale replica Oval Office at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum. The interactive displays—the result of a major renovation completed in late 2009—take you through a day in the life of a president.
The dedication of Georgia’s new Capitol on July 4, 1889 was an exercise in mixed metaphors. The ceremony, a grand legislative procession from the lawmakers’ temporary digs in an opera house on Marietta Street to the gilded edifice six blocks away, was carefully staged to symbolize democracy as an institution.
It might have seemed like an awful lot of fuss to make over the death of an ape: thousands of mourners, a live TV broadcast, corporate sponsors vying for the right to transport his remains back to Africa, and a eulogy by an icon of the civil rights movement. But in February 2000, when Willie B. died of complications from cardiomyopathy at a