“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”
Historic trials make creative triumphs sweeter along Old Fourth Ward's "Sweet Auburn" Avenue. Nobel Peace Prize winner Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born at 501 Auburn Ave., and gave sermons at nearby Old Ebenezer Baptist Church that inspired the nation to end segregation and redefine the American Dream. APEX Museum puts Sweet Auburn's history into global perspective, from its harrowing slave-ship diorama to early Black Atlanta society portraits by NAACP co-founder (and Atlanta University professor) W.E.B Du Bois. A century before The Cosby Show was set in a Brooklyn brownstone, Sweet Auburn was Atlanta's model African American middle-class community. After the 1917 Great Atlanta Fire destroyed almost 2000 buildings along Old Fourth Ward Boulevard, the community rallied, establishing the public market that's now the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Today you can witness history in the making at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change, and in the revitalized streets of Sweet Auburn National Historic District. The Sweet Auburn Heritage Fest has launched the "Dirty South" sound with megastars such as Outkast, Usher and Little John, and the old cotton warehouse has been taken over by Studioplex art studios and restaurants. The $50 million renovation of Historic Fourth Ward Park includes the BeltLine rails-to-trails initiative and a new Old Fourth Ward Skatepark designed by skate legend Tony Hawk. For further inspiration, don't miss hog jowls at Kevin Rathbun Steak, Highland Bakery's sweet potato pancakes, and irreverent "spiritual sangria" at Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping-Pong Emporium.