ATLANTA - “I said to myself, ‘Why doesn’t this city, of all cities in the nation, have a Black History Museum?’”
With that one question, veteran filmmaker Dan Moore, Sr. created an Atlanta institution which draws tens of thousands of visitors each year — and highlights the achievements of African Americans in Atlanta and beyond.
The APEX Museum — which stands for the African American Panoramic Experience — first opened in 1978, and is now the city’s oldest Black History Museum. Located inside the historic John Wesley Dobbs Building on Auburn Avenue (built in 1910 as the Atlanta School Book Depository), the museum features a large collection of permanent and temporary exhibits focused on the history and culture of people of color. Moore says his goal was to tell the full story of the African American experience, which meant starting the story long before most history books do: “We have to tell the entire story, which means, of course, before slavery.”
Notable exhibits inside the APEX Museum include “Africa the Untold Story,” which traces African history as far back as 5500 BC and notes the huge cultural advancements made by ancient Africans, and “Sweet Auburn Street of Pride,” which includes a full-sized replica of the Yates and Milton Drug Store, one of Atlanta’s first African-American owned businesses.
Regular hours at the APEX Museum are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is $7.00 for adults and $5 for students, military, and guests ages 55 and older. The museum is located at 135 Auburn Avenue Northeast in Atlanta.
Although the longtime motto of the APEX Museum is, “Where Every Month is Black History Month” — we thought the beginning of February was the perfect time to make a return visit to the Atlanta institution. Click the video player in this article to check out our morning with founder Dan Moore, Sr., learning more about his mission to educate, enlighten, and keep history alive.