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Trail focuses on civil rights landmarks

Former Midway school highlighted

POSTED: January 18, 2018 12:55 p.m.
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The campus of the Dorchester Academy just east of Midway on Highway 84 includes the former boys dormitory and caretaker’s cottage, that has been turned into a museum.

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Georgia Tourism, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, announced Tuesday the inclusion of 11 historic sites in Georgia on the new U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

Dorchester Academy in Midway is one of the 11.

Here’s the rest of the release.

For the first time, 14 Southern tourism departments have worked together to link the country’s most important civil rights sites — more than 130 landmarks, including museums, churches, courthouses and memorials that were pivotal to the advancement of social equality during the 1950s and 1960s.

"Georgia has always been a centerpiece of the Civil Rights Movement. As the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Georgia is flourishing with existing landmarks and museums that immortalize this piece of monumental history," said Kevin Langston, GDEcD deputy commissioner for tourism. "Much of this history can be experienced at the 11 sites in Georgia and we encourage travelers to visit the other sites across the South during their trip. At every point along the trail, people will be walking where leaders of the Civil Rights Movement walked, connecting them at an intimate level to this important story."

The trail features 11 sites in Georgia that each have a strong connection to the state’s civil rights heritage. The sites include:

• Albany Civil Rights Institute, Albany

The institute includes a museum, research center and the rehabilitated Old Mount Zion Baptist Church, which was home to the Albany Movement.

• APEX Museum, Atlanta

The rich and often untold story of African and African-American history and culture is depicted here through exhibits, artifacts and presentations.

• Dorchester Academy Boys’ Dormitory, Midway

Once a school for African American children, Dorchester’s dormitory was used by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to train activists and leaders during the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King Jr. is said to have visited the site often. On the campus there is also a museum in what was the caretaker’s residence.

The academy’s campus is just east of Midway on Highway 84, about 10 miles from Richmond Hill. There is also a picnic pavilion and playground maintained by Liberty County.

• Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta

The church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was baptized, ordained and served as co-pastor with his father until 1968. It also functioned as a spiritual haven during the Civil Rights Movement.

• Elbert P. Tuttle United States Court of Appeals Building, Atlanta

This building housed the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which worked to enforce Brown vs. Board of Education while fostering and implementing significant civil rights legislation.

• Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home, Atlanta

Dr. King spent his formative years in this home on Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue.

• Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta

Dr. King’s birth home was also the site of his baptism and ordination, and the early headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

• Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta

Exhibits at this multicultural center highlight the Civil Rights Movement and the modern human rights movement.

• The Carter Center, Atlanta

The namesake for former president Jimmy Carter, a tireless advocate for civil and human rights, includes the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.

• The King Center, Atlanta

The crypts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King and the Eternal Flame are on the King Center grounds, along with Freedom Hall, and exhibition, event and resource space.

• Shiloh Baptist Church, Albany

A historical marker commemorates the day Dr. King spoke to more than 1,500 people at Mount Zion Baptist Church, so many that the crowd spilled over to Shiloh Church.

The mission of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail is to turn a complicated history into a transformative journey of meaningful discovery. By combining the events, people, places, and stories that defined the Civil Rights Movement the Trail connects and commemorates the Movement through immersive and educational travel experiences and will share the stories that shifted the course of history.

The website, civilrightstrail.com profiles the landmarks and offers an interactive map, interviews with foot soldiers, past and present photographs and 360-degree video as special features. To experience more Civil Rights heritage in Georgia and to view each site on the trail visit ExploreGeoriga.org.

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