October 5, 2022
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Editor’s Be aware — Due to the persevering with Covid-19 pandemic, a number of the indoor venues talked about in this text could possibly be closed or have restricted capability. Remember to test their web sites or name earlier than you make journey plans.

(CNN) — Martin Luther King Jr. was born and raised in the American South, however his dream of racial equality and social justice reverberated out of his area, into the entire nation and all over the world. And it simply wasn’t his imaginative and prescient that spanned the globe — the person himself launched into travels far and huge.

You possibly can honor him on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, January 17) — or another time of 12 months — by strolling in his footsteps figuratively or actually.

From his homeland in the center of the South to surprising destinations far past America’s shores, listed here are the places that shaped and impressed the person:

Atlanta, Georgia

Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church is considered one of Atlanta’s most cherished websites.

Raymond Boyd/Getty Photos

Georgia’s busy capital metropolis is King’s birthplace and his remaining resting place. As such, it most likely has the most important declare on his legacy and MLK-related websites.

Lots of them are clustered collectively on the MLK Jr. National Historical Park in the Candy Auburn neighborhood of downtown Atlanta. Inside excursions of buildings in the park are quickly suspended in accordance with CDC steerage (as of January 11), however you might be nonetheless free to take a self-guided out of doors tour, together with the tombs for MLK and Coretta Scott King.

Among the highlights embody:

Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church: That is the place MLK was baptized and the place he co-pastored along with his father beginning in 1960. It’s been magnificently restored inside and outside to the way it appeared in the Nineteen Sixties and is a perfect place for prayer and quiet reflection. 407 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30312; +1 404 688 7300
MLK Birth Home: You possibly can nonetheless see the outside of the two-story home the place MLK was raised, when Candy Auburn was the epicenter for African American life in Atlanta. 501 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312; +1 404 331-5190
The King Center: Coretta Scott King established the The Martin Luther King Jr. Heart for Nonviolent Social Change in 1968. Nearly 1 million folks would go to yearly pre-pandemic to be taught extra in regards to the Kings’ private and non-private lives and to pay their respects at their tombs, the reflecting pool and the everlasting flame. 449 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30312; +1 404 526 8900
Only a few miles away, prestigious Morehouse College is King’s alma mater. (In truth, MLK Jr. was considered one of quite a few King household males to attend school there). The campus grounds are a stunning place to take a stroll the place the younger collegian walked. 830 Westview Dr. SW, Atlanta, GA 30314; +1 404 215 2608

Memphis, Tennessee

CNN’s Dana Bash travels to Memphis to the websites the place Martin Luther King Jr. spent his remaining hours.

For a metropolis of its measurement, Memphis has an outsized affect on the nation’s musical, cultural and political history. The US was deep in turmoil and scarred by violence when King got here to Memphis in March 1968 in help of putting sanitation employees.

King and his group had been booked on the Lorraine Motel, a protected and welcoming place to remain for black vacationers on the time. On April 4, King was standing on the balcony exterior of room 306 when he was shot and killed.

At present, the Lorraine is the location of the National Civil Rights Museum, the place you’ll be able to be taught in regards to the broad sweep of civil rights history in addition to see the room the place the person who modified America spent his remaining residing hours. On the Monday vacation, the museum will open at restricted capability for prolonged hours, and admission will likely be free for all friends. Reservations required. 450 Mulberry St., Memphis, TN 38103; +1 901 521 9699
If you want to additionally wish to eat the place King typically broke bread, go to the soul meals restaurant The Four Way. Opened since 1946, it serves Southern favorites equivalent to fried rooster, turnip greens and lemon meringue pie (stated to be an MLK favourite). 998 Mississippi Blvd., Memphis, TN 38126; + 1 901 507 1519

Montgomery, Alabama

Civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson exhibits CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson round a memorial and museum in Montgomery, Alabama that names a number of the over 4,000 lynching victims in America.
It’s troublesome to overstate the influence of King’s time in the segregated capital of Alabama in the course of the mid-Fifties. His coordination of the long bus strike after Rosa Parks famously refused to yield her seat put him on the nationwide and worldwide map.

At present, Montgomery has quite a few must-see civil rights points of interest, together with:

— The indoor Legacy Museum, about 1 mile away from the memorial. It’s located on a website the place Black folks had been compelled to labor in bondage. 400 N.Courtroom St, Montgomery, AL 36104; + 1 334-386-9100
— The Rosa Parks Museum at Troy College. 252 Montgomery St, Montgomery, AL 36104; +1 334-241-8615.

You may also see the exteriors at these King-specific websites:

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church: This church was based in 1877 in a slave dealer’s pen and was initially known as Second Coloured Baptist Church. King served as its pastor from 1954 to 1960. It was from right here he deliberate the bus boycott and different efforts to dismantle segregation. 454 Dexter Ave, Montgomery, AL 36104; +1 334 263 3970
Dexter Parsonage Museum: That is the clapboard home the place King lived — and which was bombed a number of occasions in the course of the civil rights battle. 309 S Jackson St, Montgomery, AL 36104; +1 334 261 3270

Birmingham, Alabama

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has the jail door from King’s incarceration.

Raymond Boyd/Getty Photos

The economic powerhouse of the South and a bedrock of integration opposition in the mid-Twentieth century, Birmingham additionally figured prominently in King’s life.

It was from Alabama’s largest metropolis, in spite of everything, that he penned his well-known “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in 1963, in which he passionately defended nonviolent civil disobedience to skeptical white ministers who questioned his techniques and perceived impatience on the tempo of change.
You possibly can see the precise door from his jail cell on the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in addition to vital paperwork and oral histories from the civil rights motion. It’s open with restricted hours and Covid-19 precautions in place. 520 sixteenth St N, Birmingham, AL 35203; +1 205 328 9696

Washington, DC

You’ll discover The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the Nationwide Mall between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.

Al Drago/Getty Photos

It now appears inevitable that King’s march for justice took him past the Deep South to the nation’s capital. Listed below are some places you’ll be able to go to:

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial: The primary memorial to honor an African American particular person on the Nationwide Mall, it opened to the general public in 2011 and incorporates a highly effective 30-foot statue of King rising from boulders. You may also learn inspirational quotes made in carvings on the location. The Nationwide Park Service says masks are required in crowded out of doors areas. 1850 West Basin Drive SW, Washington, DC 20024 (closest Metro station is the Smithsonian)
The Lincoln Memorial: Fittingly, it was from the steps of this beloved memorial that King gave his most well-known speech — “I Have a Dream.” Sit on the steps, shut your eyes and simply think about the ambiance there on August 28, 1963, as greater than 1 / 4 of million folks stuffed the Nationwide Mall to listen to what grew to become one of the crucial vital speeches in US history. 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037
The National Museum of African American History And Culture: The museum made a wonderful addition to the capital’s many fantastic establishments when it opened in 2016. The museum accommodates artifacts instantly associated to King in addition to a sweeping take a look at the contributions and tribulations of black People. 1400 Structure Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560; +1 844 750 3012

Boston, Massachusetts

Coretta Scott King unveils a bas reduction of her late husband on the Mugar Memorial Library on the Boston College campus.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Photos

Whereas a number of cities in the South declare a part of the King legacy, it could shock some people to know that Boston, that bastion of New England, additionally was a key place in shaping his life.

Earlier than returning to the South, King attended Boston University in the early Fifties. Simply as you’ll be able to stroll in the undergraduate’s footsteps at Morehouse in Atlanta, you are able to do the identical for grad scholar King at BU. 771 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215; +1 617 353 3710
You could need to go to the grounds of the spectacular Massachusetts State House, the place King addressed a joint session of the legislature in April 1965. 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133
A 22-foot memorial known as The Embrace is slated to be devoted in 2022 in Boston Frequent park to commemorate MLK and Coretta Scott King. That is the town, in spite of everything, the place they met and the place they started married life.

Bimini, Bahamas

Do you know you’ll be able to mix a Bahamas getaway with an MLK Jr. history tour?

Josh Noel/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Getty Photos

Mix a stunning island getaway with some MLK history on Bimini, the western most outpost of the Bahamas and simply 50 miles off the coast of Florida.

King would come right here to chill out and craft his speeches, together with notes for his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech he gave in Oslo, Norway, in 1964.

CNN Journey’s Lilit Marcus reported in a 2018 article that “there are two busts of King on the island — one in entrance of the Straw Market in the middle of Alice City and one among the many very mangroves the place King spent so many peaceable afternoons.”


A go to to the Cape Coast Fort in Ghana is a painful however needed reminder of the Atlantic slave commerce that went on for hundreds of years.

Rita Funk/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

The civil rights struggles in the USA and the tip of colonialism in Africa got here on the similar time and naturally the actions dovetailed.

In 1957, the Kings went to Ghana in West Africa to attend its independence ceremony from Britain, in response to the King Encyclopedia at Stanford College. Within the capital of Accra, he met then-Vice President Richard Nixon, amongst others.
His first abroad journey, Ghana a profound impact on King. Upon his return to the USA, he stated, “(*10*). It says to us first, that the oppressor by no means voluntarily offers freedom to the oppressed. It’s a must to work for it.”
Earlier than the pandemic, Ghana was emerging as a primary vacationer vacation spot not simply in West Africa however your complete continent. It is open to US visitors. Whereas many individuals come for the seashores, wildlife and meals, it additionally holds vital historic websites.
That features Cape Coast Castle, which was a hub of the transatlantic slave commerce. A go to there’s a somber reminder of centuries of oppression and its ramifications throughout MLK’s time as much as as we speak. Victoria Highway, Cape Coast, Ghana, +233 57 710 1707


In case you go to Mani Bhavan, the museum that was as soon as Mahatma Ghandhi’s middle of operations, you’ll have as soon as once more walked in the footstepls of MLK Jr.


Mahatma Gandhi’s campaign of nonviolent resistance to liberate India from British rule deeply influenced King.

In February and March of 1959, King embarked on a five-week tour of India to be taught extra in regards to the motion that impressed him. In Delhi, he met with Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, amongst others. He talked with college students at New Delhi College.

Finally he made his option to Calcutta (now known as Kolkata), India’s mental middle. Martin Luther King Sarani, a avenue named for him in the center of the town, isn’t removed from the Victoria Memorial.


In case you’re merely not capable of make it to any of those places in individual this 12 months, hint the journeys of King on-line at Stanford College’s in depth King Institute. It’s a deep dive into his life, but simple to navigate.

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