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A mural for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) in the Old Fourth Ward district.
NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Sweet Auburn

A mural for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) in the Old Fourth Ward district.
  • By Nneka M. Okona
  • Photos by Kevin D. Liles
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Sweet Auburn
Atlanta
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Old Fourth Ward is among the Atlanta neighborhoods that’s survived the longest, with the deepest African American history. Within it is Sweet Auburn, home to Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park, where the civil rights crusader and Nobel Peace Prize winner is buried, and a stretch of businesses along Auburn Avenue that represent a time when black residents flourished. These spots are as much an ode to that sense of black pride as they are touchstones of what makes Atlanta what it is today.

Meet Nneka Okona

Nneka has lived in Atlanta since 2016 — this go-round. She’s from Atlanta, by way of Stone Mountain, and returned after living in Madrid and Washington, D.C. She considers herself a true Georgia peach and can’t give up sweet tea and skillet cornbread.

Want to get in touch?

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Sweet Auburn

Apex Museum
Learn about the untold and lesser-known history of black Atlanta through a roving selection of temporary and permanent exhibits in this intimate museum space.
Apex Museum, 135 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30303
Sweet Auburn Curb Market
Black residents were once not allowed to enter this market due to Jim Crow laws. Instead, they stood on the curb to purchase from the vendors inside. Now the market sells fresh produce, coffee, burritos, Southern eats and poke bowls.
Sweet Auburn Curb Market, 209 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta, Ga. 30303
Odd Fellows Building and Auditorium
On Auburn Avenue, these two prominent buildings pay tribute to influential African Americans of Atlanta’s past. Booker T. Washington dedicated one of the buildings shortly after it was built in 1912, and renowned journalist Benjamin Jefferson Davis Sr. worked here for the Atlanta Independent, a black newspaper.
Odd Fellows Building and Auditorium, 228 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30303
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Martin Luther King Jr. often gave Sunday sermons at this church. Today visitors can take a step into the past and reimagine what that must have been like in the original building with its characteristic stained-glass windows.
Ebenezer Baptist Church, 101 Jackson St. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30312
For Keeps
Wander this bookstore full of rare and otherwise hard-to-find titles from African American authors, and keepsake items such as vintage magazines and newspapers.
For Keeps, 171 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30303
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Nneka M. Okona
Nneka has lived in Atlanta since 2016 — this go-round. She’s from Atlanta, by way of Stone Mountain, and returned after living in Madrid and Washington, D.C. She considers herself a true Georgia peach and can’t give up sweet tea and skillet cornbread.
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afrosypaella
Kevin D. Liles
Kevin is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Atlanta. Though from a small Georgia town, Atlanta still feels like home for Kevin, who says the city has the perfect mix of small-town feel and big-city attractions (like amazing restaurants!). One of his favorite spots is Candler Park, a small neighborhood a few miles east of downtown that has a quaint and vibrant vibe with a couple of restaurant gems — the original Flying Biscuit and Candler Park Market Deli.
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kevindliles

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