The National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) provides a unique perspective on the civil rights movement in the United States.
The museum is filled with artifacts and interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore the history of human rights around the world.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive overview of the civil rights movement, then the NCCHR is definitely worth a visit! Keep reading for our honest Review of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights at Pemberton Place in Atlanta, Georgia.
I want to preface this… I am a writer and have been as long as I can remember, but nothing I say in this article will be able to describe the energy contained within the walls of the museum.
History books are so watered down that unless you’ve studied these issues in depth, you are missing a huge part of the world’s injustices AND the amazing people that have tried to right all the wrongs.
I consider myself fairly educated in the injustices of our country and yet there was so much I didn’t know.
When we went into the shop, the young lady asked us how we enjoyed our visit and the only thing I could say, through the bubble in my throat, was, “It was powerful!”
I spent several hours reading every word, absorbing every sound, and walking around constantly in awe and sadness. It’s eye-opening, for sure, giving us a glimpse at more than just what we see in our little corner of the world, our little slice of time on the calendar!
But also, it was pretty astonishing to see how skewed our own personal experiences have made our lives. How the decisions we make are based on that, even when we don’t realize it.
The beauty of the building gives a false sense of what to expect… as you walk in, the first thing you see is a mural that depicts protest posters from all around the world.
That mural by Paula Scher set the tone for everything you are about to experience in a way that nothing else really could.
“Rolls Down Like Water” Civil Rights Gallery
This exhibit is about the American Civil Rights Movement and it does not shy away from any of the difficult details. It starts with life before the civil rights movement… explaining how different races were treated, what they were expected to do and not do, what they could and couldn’t have.
It then goes into the civil rights movement itself… all of the different players, all of the different events, all of the heartache, all of the pain, all of the hope, and all of the triumphs.
There are videos, radio recordings, newspaper clippings, pictures, and more. You really feel like you are walking through history.
“Spark of Conviction” Human Rights Gallery
This exhibit is about human rights violations around the world and it will break your heart.
It’s hard to see how we as humans can be so cruel to one another, but it’s important to remember that these things are happening every day, all around the world! The dates on some of these monsters’ pictures will floor you!
You can’t help but feel moved by their stories.
This exhibit is a memorial to all of the people who have lost their lives fighting for human rights.
It’s a very somber exhibit, but it’s so important to remember that these people made the ultimate sacrifice for something they believed in.
The museum does a great job of making you feel like you are walking through history. You are able to see, feel, and hear the stories of the people who fought for civil and human rights.
“Voice to the Voiceless” Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection
The Center exhibits papers and other artifacts of Dr. King in a permanent exhibit. They rotate the papers and artifacts, regularly.
This is the only place within the entire museum where you are not allowed to take photos. It is also super quiet, with people reflecting and absorbing the life and works of Dr. King.
This exhibit at the museum, features Dr. King’s handwriting on metal panels from his various works. I thought the museum did a great job of putting together a well-rounded, informative, and visually appealing exhibit.
I especially enjoyed seeing the different handwritten drafts of some of his famous speeches. It was fascinating to see how his words evolved over time and how he edited and revised his thoughts before delivering them to the public.
International Civil Rights Walk of Fame
This exhibit features the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, which honors individuals who have contributed to the civil rights movement around the world.
You can see some pretty big names on this list… people who you may not have realized were involved in the civil rights movement!
What can visitors learn from the NCCHR?
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a great place to learn about the civil rights movement in the United States and the human rights violations that are still happening all over the world.
The civil rights movement was a pivotal moment in American history. It was a time when people came together to fight for their rights and to demand change. The museum does a great job of highlighting the importance of the civil rights movement and the sacrifices that were made.
It’s a reminder that we should never take our rights for granted, and that progress is never easy. The civil rights movement paved the way for future generations, and it’s important to remember and learn from the lessons of the past.
Things you should know
Now that you know the types of things you will see and learn at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, here are a few things you should keep in mind when visiting:
Hours of Operation
Tuesday – Friday 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Remember the hours are subject to change. So, be sure to check the website before heading out. Plus, right now, you need a reservation to visit.
6 and under = free
Youth 7-12 = $15.99
Adult 13-64 = $19.99
Senior 65+ = $17.00
OR! You can save 44% with Atlanta CityPASS! Plus, CityPASS ticket holders do not need to make a reservation to visit.
The Atlanta CityPASS is a great way to see the best of Atlanta. For one low price, you’ll get admission to five of Atlanta’s top attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, the Zoo Atlanta, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and the College Football Hall of Fame.
Plus, you’ll save up to 40% off the regular ticket prices. And with the CityPASS Mobile Ticket App, you can skip the lines at most attractions. So if you’re looking for a great way to see Atlanta, the CityPASS is your best bet.
Where to eat
The Coca-Cola Bottle Cap Cafe’ is just a few steps away, across the Green Space.
There are also quite a few restaurants within walking distance: Johnny Rockets, and Chick-fil-A are just a couple of our favorite quick bite locations.
FAQs about National Center for Civil and Human Rights
Below, I answer a couple of questions that you may have about visiting the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights wheelchair accessible?
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is fully accessible to guests with disabilities. All public areas of the museum are wheelchair accessible, and an elevator is located in the main lobby.
How long does it take to visit National Center for Civil and Human Rights?
Their website says 90 minutes to 2 hours, but we read every single placard, watched every video, just sat absorbing things, and let our feelings guide us! So, we were there for over 4 hours!
Who built the National Center for Civil and Human Rights?
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights was initially conceived by Evelyn Lowery, the wife of Joseph Lowery, Juanita Abernathy, the widow of Ralph David Abernathy, former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, and the late House Representative John Lewis. They were part of the movement to grant civil rights to African-Americans during the 1960s.
Our Final Thoughts:
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a museum dedicated to the civil rights movement’s achievements in the United States.
The NCCHR is a fascinating museum dedicated to the civil rights movement around the world.
If you’re ever in Atlanta, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a must-visit.
It’s an important place that teaches about the past & present while also inspiring visitors to fight for change.
The exhibits are well-done and provide a lot of information, but they’re also interactive and engaging.
I definitely learned a lot while I was there, but I also left feeling inspired to make a difference in the world.
The Center for Civil and Human Rights is so powerful.
Being a history teacher and a huge advocate for equal rights of all people, the center was so moving and inspirational to me.
The Dr. King exhibits and letters were on display, and it made you feel like you were there yourself.
There are so many videos, pictures, and things to read about the history of civil and human rights that you could spend hours and hours here.
Might be one of my favorite places in Atlanta.
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is an important place, especially in these times. It’s a place where you can learn about the past, but also be inspired by the people who fought for change. If you’re ever in Atlanta, it is definitely worth a visit!
DISCLOSURE: I was recently invited to Atlanta on a FAM Tour to enjoy a weekend of exploring and delicious meals in exchange for an honest review. Any opinions stated are strictly my own and were not influenced by anyone. Also, no money exchanged hands.