“Tour the Rest haven of Atlanta’s African-American Civil Rights Pioneers” 

Atlanta is known for being the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement, the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the epicenter of southern culture. Atlanta is also the home of the oldest African-American cemetery in Georgia, South-View Cemetery. 

South-View Cemetery is often called “The African-American City of the Dead.” Established in 1889 by Jacob McKinley, George W. Graham, Robert Grant, Charles H. Morgan, John Render, and Albert Watts. Each desires to bury their family and community with dignity and grace. 

African-Americans’ traditions and customs for caring for the dead goes back centuries far beyond the enslavement of Africans in the New World. The care and pride in the details of each homegoing service can be seen on any given day at South-View Cemetery and Lincoln Cemetery (founded in 1925). 

Together, both cemeteries tell the long history of Atlanta’s African-American communities and the people that help influence our global perspective. 

“The City of Atlanta has more civil rights leaders buried within our African-American cemeteries than anywhere else in America,” says Elizabeth Clappin, Urban Planner II, Department of City Planning, Office of Design: Historic Preservation.

To ensure that this history is not lost on the residents of Metro Atlanta or the 300,000 visitors that explore the city daily, The Atlanta Cemetery Network has curated “The Promise Land,” a self-guided tour of 30 impactful African-American resting places. This walking remembrance tour journey through these historical cemeteries to honor the lives of those we have lost and re-engage in their stories. 

The Ballot Box: 

John Wesley Dobbs 1882-1961 South-View Cemetery 

Ruby Parks Blackburn  1901-1982 Lincoln Cemetery 

A.T. Walden 1885-1965 Lincoln Cemetery 

Clarence Bacote 1906-1989 Lincoln Cemetery 

Grace Townes Hamilton 1907-1992 South-View Cemetery

The Dreamers: 

John Lewis 1940-2020 South-View Cemetery 

Hosea Williams 1926-2000 Lincoln Cemetery 

Ralph David Abernathy 1926-1990 Lincoln Cemetery 

C.T. Vivian 1924-2020 Westview Cemetery 

Williams Holmes Borders 1905-1993 SouthView Cemetery 

The Educators: 

Hamilton E, Homes 1941-1995 Lincoln Cemetery 

J.W. Robinson 1921-2008 Lincoln Cemetery 

Ruby Smith Robinson 1947-1965 South-View Cemetery 

Benjamin E. Mays 1894-1984 Morehouse College 

Donald Lee Hollowell 1917-2004 Westview Cemetery  

The Industrialist: 

Alonzo Herdon 1858-1927 South-View Cemetery 

David T. Howard 1849-1935 South-View Cemetery 

Hermon Russell 1930-2014 South-View Cemetery 

Jesse Hill 1927-2012 South-View Cemetery 

The Major League: 

Theodore “Tiger” Flowers 1895-1927 Lincoln Cemetery 

Henry “Hank” Aaron 1934-2021 South-View Cemetery 

Alferd Fountain “Tup” Holmes 1917-1967 Lincoln Cemetery 

The Reformers: 

Joseph E. Boone 1922-2006 Lincoln Cemetery 

Dorthy Lee Bolden 1923-2005 Lincoln Cemetery 

James Orange 1943-2008 Greenwood Cemetery 

Martin Luther “Daddy” King 1899-1984 and Alberta King 1904-1974 South-View Cemetery 

George Alexander Towns 1870-1960 South-View Cemetery 

Soul Food: 

Evelyn Frazier 1912-2007 South-View Cemetery 

Robert Paschal 1908-1997 and James Paschel 1920-2008  Westview Cemetery