Here’s a look at Augusta’s influence and connection to King

Many in the CSRA are honoring Dr. King’s legacy by looking back at his influence and ties to Augusta.
Published: Jan. 15, 2023 at 11:19 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Parades and celebrations lasted all weekend leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

Many in the CSRA are honoring his legacy by looking back at his influence and ties to Augusta.

Monday is a day where many are off, but the Lucy Craft Laney Museum is on. The museum is normally closed on Mondays, but is opening on MLK day. It’s intended purpose is to remind people of the rich history stored in Augusta, on a day honoring a man for fought for the rights of so many.

“Oftentimes we think of him as this national icon, but Dr. King had connections to a variety of communities,” said Corey Rogers, historian at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History.

Those connections include some right here in our backyard.

“In 1962, Dr. King spoke at Tabernacle Baptist church,” said Rogers. “He would come back to Augusta six years later.”

That visit took place in March 1968 during a time when the Garden City was still facing segregation.

“He spoke at Beulah Grove Baptist Church,” said Rogers. “That would be his last trip to Augusta.”

More than 50 years later since that trip, Dr. King’s legacy remains.

“When you talk about Dr. King and you talk about civil rights, you have to also talk about the Reverend CS Hamilton’s of the world and the Reverend NT Young’s of the world,” said Rogers. “All of these people I think about during this holiday, because they like Dr. King, put their lives on the line for equality in this country.”

Their history, among others, lives at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History.

“Our history is important, the city’s history is important,” said Rogers. “Black history goes far beyond just history devoted to a particular group of people.”

It’s that history lesson Corey Rogers wants to pass on.

“I hope that when people come here, tomorrow or at any time in the future, they learn a little bit about their history, be able to take that history with them,” said Rogers.

Monday tour times at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum will be at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. There will be days of services activities on Monday as well.

On Monday, Mayor Garnett Johnson, members of his staff, and the Augusta chapter of the UGA Alumni Association will serve as volunteers on the annual Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.

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