The Atlanta History Center is offering free admission and wide variety of African American and Civil Rights history programming on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 21.

One highlight is an appearance by Cleveland Sellers Jr., a Civil Rights activist who was the only person convicted, and later pardoned, in relation to the 1968 “Orangeburg Massacre” in South Carolina, where police opened fire on pro-desegregation protesters, killing three. Sellers will speak with Adam Parker, the author of a book about him, “Outside Agitator.”

In another highlight, Ohio University professor Frederick Lewis will discuss and screen segments of his documentary “Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask,” about the influential African American poet, novelist and playwright.

The History Center also offers a wide variety of other programs for adults and children, including a film of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and immersive role-playing as African American soldiers in the Civil War and as the “Freedom Riders” who challenged segregated bus service in the 1960s.

Located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead, the History Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For more information, see

Support for the free programming comes from the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and the Fulton County Arts Council.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.