Athens, Georgia, has plenty of things to do and to experience during Black History Month. Each year, we look forward to celebrating and honoring African-American heritage and the numerous contributions Black Athenians have made to our community.

Athens’ Black heritage 

  • When visitors first arrive in Downtown Athens, they can make their way to the intersection of Washington and Hull Street where they'll find “Hot Corner,” the center of the city’s early black commerce and home to businesses such as the dental office of Ida May Hiram, the first African American woman to pass the Georgia Dental Board exams.  

  • The “Hot Corner Legacy” mural pays tribute to the influential entrepreneurs who helped to shape Athens. The mural was installed by muralist Elio Mercado and local Athens artist Broderick Flanigan in early 2020. Monroe "Pink" Morton, owner of the Morton Theatre, and barber Homer Wilson, owner of Wilson's His and Hers styling shop and founder of Hot Corner festival, are displayed in this mural. The other individuals included represent various musicians, entrepreneurs and performers who have passed through and were impacted by Hot Corner. Hot Corner Legacy Mural

  • Hot Corner Celebration & Soul Food Festival - For over 20 years, the Hot Corner Association has celebrated the Black-business community in Athens through its Hot Corner Festival. This block party style event, which is held the second weekend in June every year, brings together the best of Athens’ businesses, restaurants and entertainers for all the community to learn about and appreciate the diverse history of the Hot Corner. 

  • Harriet Powers – an Athens Black Heritage Hero, was an extraordinary quiltmaker. Her pieces focused on sharing stories from the Bible that reflected her deep creativity and spirituality. Two of her Bible-themed quilts are in the collections of the Smithsonian.  An external shot of the Ware-Lyndon House Museum showing a signpost for the African American Heritage Pathway.

  • Athens, Ga is happy to announce the creation of the Center for Racial Justice and Black Futures being constructed on the campus of The Classic Center. This center will be a 501 (c)(3) non-profit focusing on engaging and empowering individuals through promoting racial justice. The goal is to share the historical truth of Black history in the Athens community, the state of Georgia and the United States as a whole showcasing artifacts, educational materials and interactive spaces. In an effort to promote education, The Classic Center is set to launch Linnentown – The Musical in April 2024. The musical will be an artistic tribute to families of Linnentown, a Black neighborhood in Athens displaced in the 1960s, sharing their stories, challenges and victories. 

  • African American Heritage Pathway: In November 2022, Athens created the African American Heritage Pathway, a walking tour through downtown that highlights notable landmarks that represent authentic stories of lost and forgotten Black communities and histories in the destination. The pathway is meant to spark conversation about inequality from the past and societal hopes for change within the Athens community.  


Black-owned restaurants & shops 

  •  Kelly’s Jamaican and Rashe’s Cuisine  - Offering a contrast to the typical Tex-Mex, Southern-style food that Athens is known for, these two restaurants are serving up authentic Jamaican food. A staple in the Athens community for 20 years, Kelly’s Jamaican has all the classic Jamaican foods including Jerk Chicken and Curry Goat. Rashe’s Cuisine, started by Rashe Malcolm, dreamed of sharing her love for Jamaican and African American culture by providing meals to the public. Since then, her dream has come to life with a food truck, also offering catering services. 

  • Weaver D’s and Food for the Soul – These restaurants serve the best Southern soul food in Athens including fried chicken, pork chops, greens and more daily. Weaver D’s is a must-try Athens classic where owner Dexter Weaver strives for “ready, quick and efficient” service every day.  Weaver D's

  • Dawg Gone Good (BBQ) - Visitors can eat their weight in a full range of delicious barbeque from pork ribs, chicken and mac and cheese to cole slaw, baked beans, yams and more. This establishment, initially a salon owned by the current founder B.J. Hardy, came into being in 2009 during the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game. Transforming from its salon roots, this downtown BBQ hotspot makes its mark by painting the patio like a football field, complete with abundant Dawg memorabilia. 

  • Mannaweenta - was a staple vendor at the West Broad Farmers Market for years. Chef and owner Haregu Bahtu opened her highly popular restaurant in 2015 serving Ethiopian and Etritrean food. Dishes feature Chicken Doro Wot, Alter Alitcha and even Orka Wot. 

  • Creature Comforts Brewery Partnership - Recognized as one of the Top 20 Midsize Regional Breweries by Craft Beer Brew, this beloved Athens brewery has partnered with Our Culture, a local Black-owned brewery. Together, they’ve crafted a unique beer, “Seeds Take Up The Soil”, incorporating locally grown sweet potatoes.  

  • Chalises Heavenly Inspired - Founder, Adrienne Chappell, struggled for many years with her own skin issues and decided to make educating people properly on treating their skin her life’s mission. As a result, Chalises Heavenly Inspired was born. Chappell creates handcrafted soaps and bath & body products made with the best natural ingredients that will make any visitor feel great in their own skin. 


Did you know?

  • The Morton Theatre is one of the few remaining vaudeville theatres built, owned and operated by a Black man, Pink Morton?
  • The Morton Theatre housed Georgia's first black female dentist, and a black pharmacy?
  • Pink Morton is among many distinguished Black Athenians buried at Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery?

Learn more about Black Heritage in Athens

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