The King Centre | Attraction Guides | History Hit

The King Centre

Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Lucy Davidson

29 Apr 2021

About The King Centre

The King Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, commemorates Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister and the leader of the African-American civil rights movement.

Dr King was assassinated on 4 April 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, and his joint crypt with his wife is located at the King Centre.

Visitors to the King Centre, which is part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site which is managed by the National Parks Service, can embark on a self-guided tour to see his final resting place as well as view exhibits about Dr King.

History of The King Centre

The King Centre is an non-for-profit, official, living memorial dedicated to the advancement of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

It was founded by Coretta Scott King in the basement of the couple’s home in the same year that her husband, Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated.

In 1981, the centre’s headquarters were moved into the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site facility on Auburn Avenue. This area also includes King’s birth home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached from 1960 until his death.

The remains of Martin Luther King Jr. were moved from South View Cemetery to the plaza between the centre and the church, and a memorial tomb was dedicated in 1977.

Martin Luther King Jr.‘s gravesite and a reflecting pool are also located next to Freedom Hall.

The King Centre Today

More than 650,000 people visit The King Centre annually.

The centre encourages a very hands-on approach when engaging with the themes it discusses, running a number of of outreach programs, which aims to ‘prepare global citizens to create a more just, humane, and peaceful world using Dr King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology.’

These include Nonviolence Education and Training, the Camp Now Leadership Academy, Students with King, a Beloved Community Teach-In, Beloved Community Talks, Beloved Community Network, and the Beloved Community International Festival.

There is also a library with a number of resources related to philosophy and methods of Kingian nonviolence.

Getting to The King Centre

From the centre of Atlanta, The King Centre is a 5 minute drive via Auburn Ave NE. There’s also a regular tram service from the city centre which takes around 20 minutes. There are also a number of connecting buses which take around 25 minutes to reach the centre. By foot, The King Centre is a 25 minute walk via Piedmont Ave SW and Auburn Ave NE.

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