Working with three first-year students and two graduate students at Georgia State University, I oversaw the development of a self-guided walking tour that uses David Fort Godshalk’s Veiled Visions to describe the horrific events that occurred on Saturday, September 22nd, the first day of the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot. The tour, available for free on Emory University’s mobile-optimized OpenTour website, takes about an hour to complete and extends approximately three quarters of a mile across downtown Atlanta. The race riot raged for three days, as angry mobs stormed from downtown Atlanta to surrounding neighborhoods. Our tour only visits sites connected to the first day of violence, as the distance between those locations allows users to walk easily from site to site. Furthermore, by focusing on just the first day, our team can narrate the events in chronological order. Our tour describes the height of the race riot’s violence while also addressing the failure of law enforcement to protect Atlanta’s marginalized communities.
The tour is a tangible example of public-facing student work, as anyone with internet access can view the mobile-optimized website. Our team hopes that the tour will appeal to local historians and scholars as well as to visitors of the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park, both located in downtown Atlanta. While local museums provide insightful historical information about the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, our team posits that this tour will provide greater context for understanding race relations in Atlanta in the first half of the twentieth century.