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Atlanta launches civil rights tour | Community Spirit

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Atlanta launches civil rights tour
Atlanta launches civil rights tour

ATLANTA -- When he sees the decaying buildings in Atlanta's sweet auburn district, Tom Houck sees a civil rights history story that mostly goes untold.

"Down on Auburn Avenue there were several pool halls. Dr. King would be a frequent visitor to many of them," Houck told 11Alive's Doug Richards.

It's a story of decaying buildings that thrived in the 1960's. It includes the one-time headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the American Legion pool hall across the street, and the boarded-up YMCA a few blocks west.

"The Butler Street YMCA is so historical. Andy Young stayed there, Bayard Rustin stayed there. It was sort of a black hotel for civil rights activists during Jim Crow in Atlanta." They're among the sights Houck aims to feature for paying customers on a commercial civil rights tour he'll launch later this month. It's that will have video narration from living legends like John Lewis, Julian Bond, and Andrew Young.

Find out more information on the tour here

Houck has his own civil rights credentials. Dr. King hired him as a driver when Houck was a teenager. The tour will include sights like Martin and Coretta Scott King's home in Vine City and the boarded-up church Ralph Abernathy founded in the early 1960's. It will include spots most history buffs know nothing about, like the mattress factory where Dr. King worked as a teenager at the insistence of his father.

You'll leave the tour with an in-depth knowledge of Atlanta's role in the civil rights movement and a better appreciation for the mostly-forgotten historical buildings in Atlanta. Test your knowledge in a Civil Rights Quiz (Mobile users may need to use this direct link: http://on.11alive.com/quiz)