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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.

TOUR INFORMATION |
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)