Lucy Laney Museum of Black History gives tours for MLK day

Shortly before Dr. Martin Luther King died, he visited Augusta to give a sermon at a local church.
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 7:00 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Shortly before Dr. Martin Luther King died, he visited Augusta to give a sermon at a local church.

Today the Lucy Laney Museum of Black history gave tours in honor of MLK day.

We went to see how King’s message resonated with civil rights leaders here in Augusta.

As far as one historian of Lucy Craft Laney Museum can remember, this year is the first time they’ve ever opened the doors for operation on MLK day, giving insight into more than just his connection to the Augusta community.

Corey Rogers, a historian at the museum, says, “I think it’s nice that we’re able to open up and maybe talk a little bit about King, his connection, other civil rights and look at Augusta through the prism of what it meant to become activists.”

King was a civil rights activist on a national level, that was Augusta’s Lucy Laney on a local level

Rogers says, “She was one of the co-founders of the Augusta branch of the NAACP. So she also was an activist in her day.”

Community members like Brenda Dent learned new historic facts about the town she’s lived in all her life.

She says, “I didn’t know about the golden blocks, I knew that that neighborhood was there. Because I went to immaculate conception school, which was in the district of the golden blocks.”

During the time of segregation, the golden blocks stood as the heart of Augusta’s black business community.

Dent says, “I also learned some new history about the pilgrim life insurance company. I remember that building very well, a business started with two dollars and fifty cents in Augusta turned into a top African American Insurance company worth more than 8 million dollars, Walter’s Hornsby’s childhood dream.”

Which is exactly what Rogers envisioned today to be. A day that not only celebrates King but celebrates the legacy of civil rights in our community.

Dent says, “Augusta has so much has done so many things in the past that we don’t know, as native Augustans we don’t hear anything about it.”