Public History & Memory in Atlanta

For this fifth assignment, we’re considering questions of public memory and history here in Atlanta.

The photo above was taken on the Bell Building in downtown Atlanta on Georgia State’s campus. For the last several years, there has been controversy about how to “Save the Bell.” While this post doesn’t ask you to dive into this specific issue, in many ways the questions surrounding the Bell Building and GSU intersect with our larger considerations of public memory in the city. 


Maurice Hobson “The King of Atlanta: Martin Luther King Jr. and Public Memory” from Black Perspectives


“To Atlanta, with Love” About South Podcast.

For this post, we’re turning to Atlanta to think about how public memory intersects with civil and human rights in the city. Begin this week’s assignments by listening to Calinda Lee discuss her work with the Atlanta History Center and how she thinks about the best practices for representing history to the public. Next, read Maurice Hobson’s essay on how Atlanta and the larger nation thinks through the history of King in Atlanta and how his legacy is represented.

Then, for your main portion of this assignment, you’re going to take an image of something in metro Atlanta and discuss how it demonstrates some aspect of public memory related to the long history of human and/or civil rights. (You are encouraged to take this photo yourself, but please be mindful of current public health protocols as well as your personal situation and decide your own best course of action.)

This photo may be of something that IS remembered in some way, or it may be a location that demonstrates how something IS NOT remembered. The photo does not have to be related to King, and your main assignment is for you to show how this photo represents questions of public memory, history, and human rights. So if the immediate relationship isn’t clear in the photo, don’t worry. Your job is to write a post that explains how the photo relates to these ideas.

In your post, please incorporate at least one specific reference to the Lee interview. 

Your “featured image” will be the photo that you take or find. If you are not the photographer, please give appropriate attribution at the bottom of the post with your works cited. 

You may include additional images, links, or .gifs as useful and appropriate. 

Please feel encouraged to be creative and innovative! And remember your works cited at the bottom of the page!

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