African American Heritage
A History of Heritage & Heroes, Macon-Bibb County CVB
450 MLK Jr. Blvd., Macon, GA 31201
"A past to cherish, a future to fulfill." Those are the words inscribed on one of Macon's historic markers dedicated to preserving the city's rich African American History. This self-guided tour features 22 historic and cultural sites.
Tubman African American Museum
View the magnificent 63-foot long mural centerpiece of the museum, "From Africa to America", created by Macon artist Wilfred Stroud. This mural presents a visual history of black people from early days in Africa to current leaders and heroes. Learn of Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Otis Redding, Ellen Craft, Minnie Smith and many more! Georgia’s largest African American museum offers fourteen exhibition galleries, a resource center, The Noel Collection and artwork depicting African American art, history and culture. Located 340 Walnut Street, (478) 743-8544.Hours: Monday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm; Saturday, 12 noon - 4 pm
Admission: Adults $6; Children ages 4-17 $4; Children under 4 Free
Georgia Music Hall of Fame
Georgia’s rich music heritage comes to life inside this Georgia "tune town" where a perpetual music festival takes places everyday. Enjoy the many collections of memorabilia and artifacts of great musicians including Little Richard, Ray Charles, Lena Horne, James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Reverend Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey, father of Gospel Music. Located 200 Martin Luther King Blvd., (478) 751-3334 or 1-888-GA-ROCKS.Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission: Children under 4 years Free, Students ages 4-16 $ 3.50, Seniors (60 & up) & College Students w/ID $ 6, Adults (ages 17 & up) $8.
Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
The largest state sports museum in the country offers 3,000 artifacts, a 205-seat ball park theater, research library, hands-on sports exhibit and a gift shop. Highlights sports heroes including Henry Hank Aaron, Wyomia Tyus, Cleveland Brown, Gwen Torrence, Dominic Wilkins, Evander Holyfield & Jackie Robinson. Located 301 Cherry Street, (478) 752-1585.Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Admission: Adults $8, Seniors & Students w/ ID $6, Children 6-16 $3.50, Children under 5 Free.
Built in 1921 by black entrepreneur Charles Douglass, this restored historic theatre has hosted greats like Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ida Cox and Cab Calloway. Macon’s Otis Redding was discovered here too! The Douglass Theatre now pays tribute to the African American influence on film and theatre. Enjoy live musical, theatrical and film performances. Located 355 Martin Luther King Blvd., (478) 742-2000.
Hours: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. (Saturday open for special events only)
Washington Memorial Library
Located at 510 College Street, this library offers an extensive African-American Heritage collection considered one of the best in the Southeast. The collection, which began in 1959, contains rare genealogical, archival and biographical information.
A "main street" of African American business. Jefferson Long was the first black man to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1871. Rev. Pearly Brown, renowned blind street singer who learned to play the guitar at Macon’s Academy for the Blind, later performed at Carnegie Hall and was the first black man to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. The J. Walton Building is home to two generations of Waltons. Located in historic downtown Macon.
Pleasant Hill Historic District:
One of the first black neighborhoods listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with architectural, cultural, educational and religious resources. It includes the childhood home of "Little Richard" Penniman, the site of Beda-Etta College and the Dr. Bobby Jones Performing Arts Center. Pleasant Hill also produced the acclaimed black artist Henry W. Lucas, highly esteemed educator Dr. Robert Williams and a most outstanding civil rights leader, William P. Randall. Be sure to stop in at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, 391 Monroe Street, where you'll find the Otis Redding Memorial Library.
Rodney Davis Memorial:
Visit the memorial dedicated to Macon’s only Medal of Honor winner. Sergeant Rodney Davis, Jr., gave his life to protect his company by jumping on top of a live hand grenade. At 25, this young man lost his life during his second tour of duty during the Vietnam War. Located in the triangle across the street from City Hall on Poplar Street in downtown historic Macon. View his uniform and Medal of Honor inside the Tubman African Museum.
HISTORIC LANDMARKS & MEMORIALS
Otis Redding Statue:
Located at Gateway Park (Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. & Riverside Drive)
A native son, singer, composer and performer, Otis Redding was on his way to stardom when a tragic plan crash took his ife in 1967. The next year, his song, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" went number one in the country.
Otis Redding Memorial Bridge:
Located where Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. crosses Ocmulgee River, connects the modern-day Macon Convention Center & Coliseum and Macon's historic musical downtown.
Benny Scott Plaza:
Located at Carolyn Crayton Park, Walnut St. Entrance. This plaza honors the Macon native's community volunteer efforts as well as his 42 years of service to the railroad, including the last run of this steam engine and his eventual status as one of the South's first black engineers.
DOWNTOWN AFRICAN AMERICAN CHURCHES
Greater Turner Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church: (c 1871)
Located at 1104 Third Street, Macon's oldest African American church; recently completed its first phase of renovation. For more information, call (478) 743-4932.
First Baptist Church:
Located 595 New Street, c. 1887. This church was established by blacks over 25 years prior to Emancipation. It’s original congregation worshiped in First Baptist church, High Place, until land and a building were deeded to them in 1845. For more information, call (478) 745-8368.
Holsey Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church:
Located 1011 Washington Avenue, c. 1895. This church began as an outgrowth as First Methodist Church in 1839. In 1848 a separate church was provided in the name "The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church." Holsey Temple was formally organized in 1867. In 1870, land was purchased for the building, but 1871 and 1877 fires destroyed the