|Nasir Muhammad - Historian teaching on Sweet Auburn Avenue, Atlanta GA.|
This past weekend, at the start of the Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Weekend, Vanessa and I went on a walking tour of Sweet Auburn Avenue here in Atlanta. Mr. Nasir Muhamad and Black Mecca Tours of the South led the tour. While I have studied this street and its history for the past four years I learned so much from Nasir. He had information that simply amazed me. I realize that you can always learn something no matter how much you think you know!
There is rich history in your community. It is up to us to learn about the towns / cities we find ourselves living. Many of us live in cities and we take their rich history for granted. Tourists come in and they take advantage of our cities attractions, history and tours. I encourage you to learn more about your city. Go to your history center, take a local tour, connect with local historians, pay attention to historical markers and stop and read them. Find that book(s) that chronicles the history of your city and take time to read it.
If we don’t know the history of our city we will not fully understand the legacy we stand upon and how we are a part of the larger story. We are called to these cities to continue the struggles we inherited. Our ancestor began the fight; we are to continue the fight while preparing the next generation to take on the fight. As much as Atlanta is a city where African Americans have done well we still have a long way to go. The class divide and the continuing legacy of racism, sexism, classism and discrimination against the LGTBQ community is still with us. When we learn about those foot soldiers in our community who fought before us their spirit will guide us as to what is next. I have met historians like Mr. Dan Moore of the Apex Museum, Dr. Karcheik Sims-Alvarado – The Historian in Heels, Nasir Muhammad of Black Mecca Tours of the South and Roger Pennyman of Atlanta Specialty Tours and they all have become my teachers. Who is teaching you about the history of your city and what is next in our battle for liberation?