Cities that Honor the Legacy of Dr. King
On January 15th, the US honors a man whose dream paved the way for equality for millions of Americans regardless of race, creed, and gender. That man was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and we celebrate him for his many contributions to human rights and world peace. Take a look below to see the ways in which some major US cities commemorate Dr. King’s legacy.
Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial
This memorial opened in August 2011 and was the first memorial ever given to an African American at or near Washington D.C.’s National Mall. The effort to erect a memorial was birthed as an initial effort of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in which Dr. King was a member of. The centerpiece of the memorial is a 30-foot-tall replica of King himself. Etched in granite, the monument also features quotes from major speeches by Dr. King called the “Stone of Hope.”
Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King National Historic Site
This site acts as not only an educational center, but visitors get to tour the childhood home of Dr. King as well as the original Ebenezer Baptist Church in which he and his father were pastors. The visitor center of the site highlights major facts of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s the movement that Dr. King pioneered.
Memphis, Tennessee, National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel
Built in 1925, this hotel was once the hangout of famous musicians like Cab Calloway and Nat King Cole. On April 4, 1968, the Lorraine Hotel was the location of Dr. King’s assassination. Dr. King was in Memphis to organize marches for the rights of sanitation workers in the city when he was shot and killed. Since the assassination, the Lorraine Hotel has gathered thousands of visitors annually. In 1991, the Lorraine Hotel was converted into a Civil Rights museum.
Seattle, Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park
This astonishing park has a 40-foot sculpture dedicated to Dr. King’s “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech that he gave in Memphis the day before his assassination. This granite sculpture symbolizes a mountain. The park is four and a half acres and is nestled in Seattle’s City Park.
Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Landmark for Peace
This memorial features a sculpture of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy reaching out to shake each other’s hand. The sculpture not only signifies the bond between the two in the fight for equality, it also highlights the acceptance and appreciation for people of all walks of life – a mission that they both made their life works. The sculpture was built in 1994 and in 2009, an expansion was approved to give the memorial an amphitheater, an internal flame display, and two elliptical walkways that end abruptly – as did the lives of these two national heroes.
If you’re ever in one of these cities remember to check out one of these iconic sites, you can visit them year round. Or you can look for a home in one of these major cities!