ATLANTA - When you think of Atlanta, what comes to mind? Is it the food or culture?
"Atlanta is the hottest thing since fried chicken," Dwight Mcqueen, the CEO of ATL Black History Tour told FOX 5.
Some people immediately think of Atlanta's rich African-American history.
Martin Luther King Junior is arguably one of the greatest figures to come out of Georgia’s Capital City but there are so many other figures and locations that helped to shape the city into what is it today.
Dan Moore, Sr. is the founder and president of the APEX Museum located on the historic Auburn Avenue. The museum is dedicated to preserving and telling Atlanta’s rich and deep unknown history.
For example, Yates and Milton Drug store. At one point in time, it was one of the few places in the area to service Black people during the Jim Crow Era.
"It was a meeting place," Moore told FOX 5. "They would come eat and have lunch."
The museum was originally bought in 1924. Moore said it sat at the corner of Auburn Avenue and what’s now Jesse Hill Drive.
"Dr. King would come in, and the ministers would say to him, ‘You need to stop what you’re doing before you get us all killed’. They were trying their best to stop him from the peaceful demonstrations," Moore said.
An old sign baring the name ‘The Royal Peacock Club' is all that’s left of the established that opened in 1949. Historians say it was a hub for the top Black entertainers of the time.
"Blacks couldn’t perform in nightclubs around the country. And if they did, they had to perform and leave," Moore said, "So, here at the royal peacock you had greats that could come and perform that were Black entertainers."
Have you ever passed by the sign where Haugabrooks Funeral Home once stood? Geneva Haugabrooks started the company in 1929. It was one of the only funeral homes run by Black people, for Black people.
Meanwhile, the sites where Atlanta Life Insurance Company founded by Alonzo Herndon, and Citizens Trust Bank were located are now just memories of a crucial and revolutionary at the time.
"Atlanta Life Insurance Company … became the second-largest life insurance company in the nation, second only to North Carolina Mutual," Moore said. "Citizens Trust Bank was one of the first Black banks that started here in Atlanta."
"This is why I am bent on taking people on a tour, so we can see this history before it disappears," said McQueen.
The ATL Black History Tour is an experience that shows hidden historical gems throughout the city.
"I take people to places like the Herndon home, the first black millionaire of Atlanta," McQueen said. "I show people the location of his barbershop."
Many people have enjoyed the food at Paschal's, but do you know its relationship to the Civil Rights Movement?
"The food is great, the hospitality is awesome, but the history here … presidents come here. Great Civil Rights leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held meetings at the original Paschal's on MLK Boulevard," McQueen said.
As historical markers tell the story of what once was, these men vow to keep the memory going while creating new history.
"I say to all the young people when they come in, if you want to see the next inventor then look in this mailbox," Dan told FOX. "In the mailbox is a mirror. They see themselves. They can be the next great inventor."