“Discover DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau has compiled a list of cultural experiences for people to try this Juneteenth.
DEKALB COUNTY, GA — In honor of Juneteenth and to celebrate African American culture, there are several activities and businesses in DeKalb County.
Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. It is also called Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day. The name "Juneteenth" references the date of the holiday, combining the words "June" and "nineteenth.
This Juneteenth Discover DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau has compiled a list of cultural experiences for people. They can visit the Flat Rock Archives, believed to be one of the oldest African American communities in Georgia. There's also Bruce Street, the first Black public school in DeKalb County. It was built and run by Lithonia's Black community prior to integration as part of a grassroots community effort.
Check out the list below:
Experience A Walk Through African American History In DeKalb
- Flat Rock Archives
Believed to be one of the oldest African American communities in Georgia, Flat Rock was founded and strengthened by individuals who wanted to ensure the safety and success of African Americans following the aftermath of the Civil War. The community of Flat Rock thrived in part because of the immense communal bond of its citizens as well as the selflessness of its leaders. Theodore A. Bryant, Sr., ensured the development of Flat Rock by purchasing nearby land and distributing it to families in the area. This gesture allowed the citizens of Flat Rock to build a strong foundation of support as well as ensure the safety and well-being of the community. Despite consistent animosity and prejudice, the people of Flat Rock remained strong, resilient, and united.
With Juneteenth coming up, visitors and residents of Georgia can take a look back in time through the Flat Rock Archives. Located in the City of Stonecrest, Georgia, and nestled in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area (AMNHA), the Flat Rock Archives are housed within a historical landscape and currently maintain the 20th-century Georgian Cottage known as the T.A. Bryant, Sr. House which was built in 1917. The T.A. Bryant, Sr. house was donated to the Archives by Rev. T.A. Bryant, Sr.'s son and Co-Founder Rev. T.A. Bryant, Jr. The site also includes a barn, smokehouse, and outhouse constructed throughout the 20th century.
The Flat Rock Archives is part of a larger landscape within AMNHA and includes the oldest standing historical house in DeKalb County known as the Lyon's house, the Historic Flat Rock Cemetery with burials dating back to enslaved people, as well as DeKalb County's first African American public school.
- First African American Public School in DeKalb— Preserving Bruce Street School:
This area encompasses African American history by preserving and celebrating various projects. Like the Flat Rock Archives, the Historic Bruce Street Schoolhas a history worth preserving. Also known as the Lithonia Negro School and the Lithonia Colored School, Bruce Street was built and run by Lithonia's Black community prior to integration as part of a grassroots community effort. The school building contains a rich history, and now people have an opportunity to determine how this space can become an active part of the community once again.
Members of the community have taken part in engagement sessions designed to gather feedback about potential future uses and activation of the Bruce Street School site. Participants imagined themselves in the future, looking back at what had been accomplished at the Bruce Street School. Through these engagement sessions, the Bruce Street School story has come to life and creates an exciting opportunity to preserve the old school ruins and activate a place for community pride.
The outreach events for this project will conclude with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Juneteenth to reveal the future of the historic Bruce Street School ruins.
Support Black-Owned Businesses In DeKalb
Make sure to support local Black-owned businesses on your trip to DeKalb. From restaurants to bakeries, coffee shops to cafes, boutiques to beauty salons, there is a showcase of diverse people, businesses, and cuisines.
Here is a list of a few of the businesses in the area that the Discover DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau recommends. The list is expansive and continues to grow.
- Vista Vibes, Tucker
- Who's Got Soul Cafe, Decatur
- Sweet Potato Cafe, Stone Mountain
- Applewhites Eatery, Lithonia
- Jamrock, East Atlanta Village
- Fletcher's Place at Stonecrest, Stonecrest
- Desta Ethiopian Kitchen, North Druid Hills and Emory
- Lenox Cupcakes, Chamblee and Decatur
In support of Black-owned businesses, the New Black Wall Street Market is a transformative, ambitious, and enthusiastic venture. This 125,000-square-foot building located in Stonecrest promotes and encourages Black entrepreneurs and is meant to boost minority businesses. It is a celebration of rebirth that will become a thriving marketplace filled with 100+ planned shops such as art galleries, grocery stores, jazz clubs, and more.
The sounds and smells almost overwhelm the 140,000-square-foot market in DeKalb. The local Farmers Market is the perfect place to shop for affordable, fresh, and quality foods.“