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The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is dedicated to teaching a more complete and inclusive account of the past, one that helps communities understand how we reached the present—with its conflicts, opportunities, and urgent needs.
Painful history, when explored accurately and empathetically, can inspire us to address persistent inequities that exist as legacies of history in our lives today—and can inform our shared understanding about who is seen or silenced and what we choose to venerate or disdain as we mold the future.
This is the focus of the Center’s Truth and Transformation Initiative: to create opportunities for Atlanta to engage with its past in ways that prove transformative.
Truth and Transformation will address people and events in our city that have not been recognized or memorialized, with a focus on two glaring omissions: the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre and forced labor at the Chattahoochee Brick Company and Bellwood Quarry.
Image to the left: View of a page from Collier’s Weekly with an article and images of the State Militia halted on Marietta Street near Peachtree Street during the 1906 race massacre in Atlanta, Georgia.
Forced Labor at Chattahoochee Brick Company and Bellwood Quarry. The Center is working with a group of stakeholders to honor the men, women, and sometimes children who were forced into labor through a practice called convict leasing, which took place at the Chattahoochee Brick Company and Bellwood Quarry, the centerpiece of Westside Reservoir Park in Atlanta. Read an article about the project in Axios Atlanta.
The 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre. Over four days in September 1906, at least 23 African Americans were killed and hundreds more were injured in the largest outbreak of racial violence in Georgia history. The massacre is largely unknown today, even though it is a defining moment in Atlanta history — and our nation’s history of racial terror targeting African Americans. Read an article about the project from the Associated Press. Read an article about the project from the Associated Press.
Join us to commemorate the 116th anniversary of the 1906 Race Massacre. On September 18, 2022, The Center, Out of Hand Theater, the Fulton County Remembrance Coalition, and numerous community partners are hosting 5,000 people at 500 tables – for breakfast, lunch or dinner – across Atlanta.
Each dinner will start with a short monologue followed by a facilitated discussion. Our goal is to promote community conversation about how our city’s history connects to issues about race today. Participants will leave their tables inspired to effect positive action for moving forward together. Sign up to host or attend a meal.
Change the Name campaign. The events of 1906 have previously been called the Atlanta Race Riot. Many in the Atlanta community believe the word “riot” inadequately describes what happened.