Boosting a Civil Rights Legacy

Karishma Mehrotra, Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2014

Civic leaders here long have attempted to draw visitors with the claim that Atlanta is the home of the civil-rights movement.

Yet a major historical site, encompassing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s house and crypt, has been plagued for years by organizational troubles, squabbles among King family members and wobbly attendance–even as civil-rights museums in smaller Southern cities have thrived.

Now Atlanta officials hope a $103 million museum set to open Monday, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, will reassert the city’s place in civil-rights history.


But the futuristic, 43,000-square-foot museum will debut while competition for civil-rights tourism has been growing, raising questions about whether the Atlanta center can draw enough visitors. It will need 350,000 attendees a year to be self-sustaining, said the center’s chief executive, Doug Shipman.

In addition to civil-rights museums in Birmingham, Ala., Memphis, Tenn., and Greensboro, N.C., the Smithsonian Institution plans to open the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington in 2016, and the state of Mississippi plans to open the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson in 2017.

The new Atlanta center’s three galleries will include a rotating exhibit of Dr. King’s personal papers, a floor focusing on the South’s era of legal segregation and another on global human-rights issues. “We’re taking the civil rights legacy and bringing it to a whole new generation,” Mr. Shipman said.

The center, which will charge $15 admission for adults, is located near Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park close to a cluster of other attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola.


The center spent about $68.5 million to build and launch the museum, and paid $11.5 million to the King family for the right to exhibit Dr. King’s papers. Atlanta businesses and civic leaders gave an additional $22.5 million to the family to allow the papers’ display.

The city of Atlanta, through its community development arm Invest Atlanta, provided about $40 million through a tax allocation district bond and other financing. Corporations, including Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., Delta Air Lines Inc., United Parcel Service Inc. and Home Depot Inc., also gave large donations.


The King family had planned to put Dr. King’s collection of 13,000 documents and artifacts up for auction in 2006. [Former Atlanta mayor Shirley] Franklin led an effort to stop the auction, collecting about $35 million from companies, the museum and others to purchase physical property rights to the material. Family members retained intellectual property rights, meaning they can charge fees for the right to reproduce the material.



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  • D.B. Cooper

    How about opening a sneaker museum? I’m sure that will attract a lot of attention.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Blacks would rather visit a sneaker museum.

      At 3 AM.

      With a bag of tools.

      And a getaway car.

    • APaige

      the Center for Civil and Human Rights? Based on behavior Blacks as a group have yet to prove they are Civil, or even…hmmm…never-mind.

    • I’d accept those ugly skates for free, just so I could put them on eBay, but *PAY to WEAR* them?

    • Rurik

      Save a little room for the loafers too.

  • They’re going to charge $15 to people that expect such things for free yet will willingly pay $400 for cheap China-made shoes?

  • Oil Can Harry

    The only people who go to Civil Rights and Holocaust museums are schoolkids forced to go for their brainwashing. Kinda like the Vietnamese reeducation camps.

    • John R

      Good analogy. Only the Vietnamese reeducation camps are not as harmful in the long run.

    • dukem1

      The fact it’s called a museum ensures no black will get within a mile of it…Now, were it to be a community center…..

    • r j p

      School kids don’t pay …..

  • Frank_DeScushin

    “The Smithsonian Institution plans to open the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington in 2016”

    If the Smithsonian really wants to honor black culture the museum that’s scheduled to open in 2016 shouldn’t actually open until 2019. (Colored People Time)

    • Dr. Cramden

      It most likely will be one empty room.

      • Blackhawk

        You could hang basketball nets in that empty room, Doctor, with a three-point stripe. Thinking outside the box!

        • Dr. Cramden

          Good idea, it embodies “civil rights”.

      • It won’t be empty. It will have a stained, bare mattress on the floor, a few used hypodermic needles, and a broken glass crack pipe.

  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    White guilt (aka “civil rights”) museums are not financially viable beyond early stage shake-downs of area businesses and foundations. So the museums have to tap into local tax revenue.

    As for attendance, the key to seem be busing of school children from area schools. Few adults care much it. At least that’s the impression I get from reading of the financial tribulations of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro (home of the Woolworth sit-ins of the 1960s).

    • r j p

      School kids don’t pay ….

  • David Ashton

    I wonder if ALL Dr King’s papers will be exhibited?

    • APaige

      No. The plagiarized half will stay out of public viewing.

      • Mergatroyd

        Nope. They’ll be right on display. Question them at the risk of being labeled a racist and career destruction.

    • r j p

      They will probably not display his toilet papers.

  • If someone with a talent for drawing and/or digital photo creations a la David Dees can help me out, I’ll open a Anti-Civil Rights Truth Museum once I move to small town Alabama.

    What I need are artistic renderings of Martin Luther King cavorting with his white whores, their eyes swollen shut from the beatings he gave them. I also need some renderings of nuns cavorting with bucks during the Selma march. Plus, some art showing MLK worshipping at the altar of the hammar and sickle. I’d like to put together a library, with some anti-King voice over video too, so the kids can sit at computers, watch the marches, and be to identify the commies. You get the idea by now.

    If you’ve never seen clever David Dees art, go to his website. It’s great, but he doesn’t get into MLK, sticking with Soros, Algore, Obama, etc. His rendering of Obama under arrest by the military is GREAT stuff.

    • So CAL Snowman

      David Dees is amazing. I love his “Sheeple” magazine covers.

      • David tells the story of his being gangstalked and driven out of Sweden for his art. One night he went to bed, and when he woke up, the gangstalkers, government financed in the USA and elsewhere now, had rearranged his apartment. One WN who posts comments on Viking Bitch woke up to find his gun, cocked and loaded, pointed at his head on the pillow next to him.

        Gangstalking is a good example of how the tyrants are ramping up their war on dissidents. I was gangstalked for two years myself, but not in the same way as David. Mine were just garden variety death threats, and harassment when I went out in public, say to the supermarket. I also had a tracking device on my vehicle so they could monitor my movements.

        • Mergatroyd

          You should write about your experiences for AR. These things need to be publicized widely.

  • John R

    A Civil Rights Museum? Is it going to talk about black flash mobs, and the thousands upon thousands of White victims of non-white criminals? How about minority racism? Any time spent discussing that?

  • Tom Thumb

    At first, there’ll be plenty of people visit as they would any new building, but three four years down the road, the black staff will ruin the building and it’ll be another empty building eating up tax money.

  • So CAL Snowman

    $34 million to the King family for the right to display the “good” Dr. King’s absolutely worthless, communist, anti-White papers? That is possibly the most offensive and disgusting thing I have ever read.

    • r j p

      N***** gotta make a dolla.

    • FransSusan

      I agree–offensive & disgusting! I believe it’s just another symptom of the decline of civilization. When an advanced society pays homage to someone as debauched as MLK we’re in dire straits.

  • TruthBeTold

    wobbly attendance

    I’m going to assume a bus load of kids shows up once in awhile on a school field trip.

    If the kids had a choice, they would rather be anywhere else.

  • dd121

    Put the museum in a national park. Blacks won’t go.

    • MekongDelta69

      Blacks wouldn’t pop for $15 if you put it right next to the Apollo Theater on 125th Street in Harlem.

      • r j p

        But they would if there were weave stores, nail shops, liquor stores, and curb side dice shooting. Sorry I am in a blunt mood tonight.

        • You forgot stores specializing in consumer electronics which do not have bars on their windows.

        • Mergatroyd

          Is that what you’re smoking?

  • MekongDelta69

    * Mr. Van Driessen (from Beavis and Butthead) and his boyfriend step up to Nu’Shawn Malik Le’D’Ontavious who is hanging outside the Michael King Museum of Multiculturalism and Diversity and Tolerance and Wonderfulness and Sweetness and Lightness and Gloriousness and All That Is Good And Right and Van Driessen stops humming “Lesbian Seagull,” and says,
    “Mmmm, here’s $30 Mr. Le’D’Ontavious. Could you please knock my boyfriend and me out sir. We would like to REALLY experience the Authentic African-American Cultural Experience. Mmmmkay?”

    • r j p

      Killed me!

  • Alexandra1973

    How about visiting a majority-black city? There’s your civil rights legacy right there, at no charge.

    • r j p

      This reminds me of something I thought of today.
      When the SHTF.
      I can not walk east (the lake).
      I can not walk south (blacks).
      I can not walk west (blacks).
      North gets iffy (blacks again).
      WTF am I doing in this city?

      • Blackhawk

        Greetings from another Chicagoan. Well said.

      • r j p

        I live on a GC street, and I just started thinking ….. What if?
        Am I gonna take the Red Line (Sh* Chute, as I like to refer to it)?
        I am a sitting duck.

      • Mergatroyd

        That explains your “blunt mood.” Can’t blame you for that, I’d hit the blunt too if I lived there.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    This whole article would read like a parody if I didn’t know it were true.

    Every problem can be solved, as far as blacks are concerned, by throwing more of (the white man’s) money at it. The “civil rights” museum isn’t getting enough attendance? Just build a bigger and flashier one!

    And the whole idea that the King family wants to disseminate MLK’s ideas by charging millions of dollars to display his papers…you can’t make stuff like this up!

    The whole family are a bunch of money-grubbing shake down artists, which is appropriate, since MLK was the biggest shake down artist of all.

  • shmo123

    I wonder what, besides MLK’s old papers and slippers, does a Civil Rights museum contain? What will they display and would draw anyone for 15 bucks?
    10 to 1 it’s gone within two years.

    • r j p

      For $15 you get to see the condom he didn’t wear.
      You will get to hear him praising himself as he has sex with a degenerate prostitute.
      But you won’t see who he got “down low” with.

    • Fifteen dollars? I spent $9 today on a raspberry bush to go in one of the barrels outside. They’ll handle -40 F weather, deer don’t bother them and they grow four to six feet tall. Next year, I’ll put a blueberry bush in the other barrel (tomatoes this season). We’ll have fresh berries for years my way. I can’t imagine spending 2/3 more than that to visit some communist theme park.

      I have a dream, too: fresh berries on vanilla ice cream with my coffee in the evenings.

    • Mergatroyd

      Nope. The government will mandate visits from all gov employees and school children through university level. Gov money, your money, will keep the lights on and the media will declare civil rights museums a great success just like the biased article above.

  • MBlanc46

    I suppose that there are some blacks who’ll pay $15 a head to see a rotating display of St. Martin’s papers, but I’ll bet the taxpayers will foot most of the bill sending busloads of skoochillen, who will run amok until their minders herd them back on the buses. [I see from some of the following posts that I was not the first one that this occurred to.]

  • r j p

    $2,400 a square foot? Are you kidding me?

  • Ike Eichenberg

    “Yet a major historical site, encompassing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s house and crypt, has been plagued for years by organizational troubles, squabbles among King family members and wobbly attendance–even as civil-rights museums in smaller Southern cities have thrived”

    I’d speculate that the thriving museums are run and patronized by mostly whites and Jews.

  • Blackhawk

    Civil rights museums have lunch counters.

    Real museums have space capsules and airplanes.

    • r j p

      Just call cibil rights museums Woolworths.

    • You forgot dinosaur fossils, mineral exhibits and artwork.

    • Mergatroyd

      Let’s be accurate. Museums honoring white achievement contain space exploration vehicles. Black achievement? Blacks weren’t even behind the civil rights movement.

  • A Freespeechzone

    They’ve got to have a way to continue to villify Whites forever—it’s too lucrative.

  • IKUredux

    First of all, Whites should be granted free admission: 1). We have been paying thru the nose for Blacks forever. 2). The free admission for Whites will not put a dent in the tsunami of money poring in by all the Blacks from around the country who will flock to this museum, especially if they can somehow combine a museum visit with a newly developed Black bike week in Atlanta over the Memorial Day holiday. And, of course the fact that no right thinking White would ever step foot in this abomination of a museum, even if it is free. Nobody is interested in this crap. NOBODY. Not even Blacks. Whoa, goin’ to a museum, is that like goin ta skool an sheet?

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    I would much prefer a $103 million museum dedicated to the man who shot Marchin’ Lootin’ Coon, James Earl Ray. Now that would be worth the price of $15 admission.

    • There are things I still wonder about where Ray is concerned. How did he come up with a forged Canadian passport and the airfare money to use it to fly to England?


    Exactly, but lets not forget just who it is that’s given such undue honor here. We’re talking about the King of all plagiarizers. A man who has blatantly stolen so much of other peoples intellectual property. That if we lived in a legitimate nation when it comes to holding blacks responsible for their own bad behavior. People you and I have never heard of would have gotten about 40% of the money King’s slimy family got for selling what they fraudulently called “his papers”. Why? Because it’s been found that King plagiarized roughly 40% or so of all “his” so called “papers”.

    In fact, he was discovered by the University that issued him his Doctoral degree to have plagiarized, ( STOLEN ) no less than half of “his” entire Doctoral thesis. Much of it was lifted word for word. The good news however, is the fact that they detected the fraud and quickly moved to revoke his Doctoral degree. Stating that such a hideously fraudulent display of reckless whole sale theft, of not just other people’s material, but other students material. Will absolutely not be tolerated, and will not go unpunished in this Unive//,,, ugh,, uh,, wa, wait, I ugh,, I’ve just been told that that never happened because those consequences are reserved for White students, and White students alone.

    No, what they actually did in Martin Loofer King’s case was just a little different from what I described above. In fact the University had been quoted as saying that “no thought should be given to the revocation of Dr. King’s doctoral degree, an action that the panel said would serve no purpose”. There you have it, black privilege, the only racial group that’s GIVEN privileges for no other reason than the color of their skin. While the so called privileges White America has are only those of which they EARN themselves through hard work. The hypocrisy of today’s America is truly staggering, and it’s only gonna get worse.

  • David Ashton

    Well, all that money could be invested instead in a “Holocaust Museum”. Every town on the planet needs one, if we are to bring collective guilt into the 21st century.

  • David Ashton

    St Nelson Mandela….surely he could fit in somewheres, nome sane?

    • Pro_Whitey

      And his wife St. Winnie of the gasoline-soaked burning tire necklace?

      • David Ashton

        Years ago (but nothing much has improved) I was teaching in an area of outer London called Leyton, where a splendid English girls’ grammar school had been turned into a polyethnic comprehensive. There was a plan afoot to rename it “The Winnie Mandela High” which reportedly was scotched by a narrow vote from the racist &c “parent governors”. Looking back, this was a pity – beause it would have been officially re-opened just as Her Ladyship was accused of child murder! Not often the Leftists shoot themselves in the foot rather than their victims in the back of the neck (although the ANC preferred a slower method of disposal).

  • David Ashton

    What about his illustrious predecessor God the Father Major J Divine the Messenger?

    Don’t he get no mention, man?

  • SSkreelings

    Sneaker museum. LOL. Very funny!

  • Mergatroyd

    The new Atlanta center’s three galleries will include a rotating exhibit of Dr. King’s plagiarized papers.

  • Mergatroyd

    And they will be coerced. They already are being coerced. I read where new FBI agents are mandated to visit such sites. That will boost the museum’s numbers for funding purposes.


    Will there be videos of mlk drunk,beating white prostitutes?

  • Zaporizhian Sich

    Me either, and to me they should be hated symbols of our civil rights being trampled.

    • paul marchand

      Right. Think about every “civil right” ….let’s take the contractual rights of neighbors to agree with a 50% vote as to whether a house-buying applicant is admitted to the neighborhood………..SQUASH ……..basic human right of whites trampled. This applies many times over, and has been very detrimental to whites in areas where there are many lawless blacks.
      (not saying all blacks are lawless…but too many ABSOLUTELY are).

  • Lee_CPA

    Most folks don’t remember that we were in the middle of a “Cold War” with Russia, who was determined to destroy us by any means available. What better way to destroy a Western Industrial society than to elevate an “inferior race” as equals to the white, ruling class. You could even argue that with affirmative action and other forms of government sponsored preferential treatment of blacks, they have been elevated above whites.
    I would say the plan worked better than they could have imagined. Vast tracts of metropolitan areas are uninhabitable due to black and hispanic crime. Whites had to abandon their homes (white flight) to get their families away from the scourge. A significant percentage of tax revenues are squandered on welfare and other forms of government assistance to the non-productive segment of society. A space program that put a man on the moon in the 60’s has been decimated and can no longer put a satellite in low orbit.
    The evidence of a declining America is everywhere. And then there is always Detroit…..

  • WR_the_realist

    I think most people would prefer to go to a museum to see a triceratops.

    If I ever visit Atlanta I’m pretty sure I won’t bother with visiting a monument to a plagiarist.

    • Just wait: once the Cultural Marxists get their hooks into real museums, we will be treated to paens about how the dinosaurs were all vegetarian homosexuals who went extinct because they collectively decided to refrain from having children, out of their deep concern for the environment.

      Those big sharp teeth on therapod “carnivores” like T. rex? Those were overdeveloped so as to produce a more impressive gay mating display.

  • FransSusan

    Hey, Fed Up, we already have those museums honoring blacks’ crimes; however, they’re called prisons instead of museums.

  • Reverend Bacon

    The Wright Museum of African American History, in Detroit, probably cost about $50 million. They borrowed $30M, and got a bunch of corporate sponsors to pay guilt money to have it built. And they say it costs about $5M per year to run, while the Detroit Institute of Arts only costs $1M. The art in the latter is worth about $1B, and the former, about seventeen cents.

    No one goes to the wright, and all the money to “run” it goes to corrupt blacks. Does anyone think this will be any different? Isn’t this just another money laundering scheme for them?

  • FransSusan

    Soon there will be statues of BO all over the country. All the idiots and bleeding hearts will be erecting shrines so we can go worship him.

  • Old Soldier

    It will need 350,000 attendees a year to be self-sustaining, said the center’s chief executive, Doug Shipman.

    That’s 1000 paying attendees a day! And it will take double that to pay for all the embezzling that will inevitably occur.

  • FransSusan

    Thanks for telling the story.

  • Look_A_Squirrel

    Atlanta could not muster enough interest (or donations from blacks) to start an MLK Day Parade when it was made a national holiday. It could not get enough interest or black willing to pay to visit its black museum and, as noted above, had to have the Park Service take over the MLK house because the family was too greedy to make needed repairs.
    HBCU’s can’t get any alumni to donate so they’re completely dependent on taxpayer money.

    Seeing a pattern here?