Rebuilding Martin Luther King Jr. Drive as Atlanta’s Black Main Street

In celebration of Black History Month, community members and business leaders came together at the Westside Future Fund (WFF) Transform Westside Summit on Friday, February 16, to learn about revitalization efforts of Atlanta’s Black Main Street on the historic Westside.

Panelists discussed the importance of Black History Month, the rich history of the Westside and active work to revitalize Martin Luther King Jr. Drive as Atlanta’s Black Main Street – a once bustling gathering spot for Black leaders and visionaries through the 20th century.

Event Highlights

Panelists included: Annette Abernathy, President of Ralph David Abernathy III Foundation; Reverend Dr. Herman “Skip” Mason Jr., Historian and Senior Pastor of Historic West Mitchell Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; and Jay Scott, Founder of Greenrock Partners.

Reverend Leroy Wright of First Thessalonians Missionary Baptist Church led the devotion and moderators Ebony Ford and Benjamin Early invited new members of the crowd to introduce themselves. Dr. Candy Tate, founding president of Culture Center International, moderated the discussion.

Prior to the panelist discussion, attendees took a moment to remember the late Akbar Imhotep who passed away in December 2022. He was a Westside historian and poet who came to the Summits regularly.

Reverend Dr. Herman “Skip” Mason Jr. led off the panelist discussion with a presentation of the many historical landmarks lining Martin Luther King Jr. Drive corridor including Pascal’s restaurant, West Hunter Baptist Street Church and more. Annette Abernathy and Jay Scott then discussed ongoing restoration efforts of West Hunter Baptist Street Church, the place where Civil Rights luminary Ralph David Abernathy preached during his time in Atlanta.

Couldn’t attend the event? Watch the full Transform Westside Summit on YouTube.


Transforming Our Summits

As a reminder, the Transform Westside Summit now takes place on the third Friday of each month from 7:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. The Summit, which began in 2016 as the brainchild of Chick-fil-A Chairman Dan Cathy, was created to foster community fellowship and networking.

“We hope that starting later and hosting fewer meetings each month will help us maintain a high rate of engagement among Westside residents and community supporters,” said Westside Future Fund CEO Ahmann. “More than 10,000 people have attended our Summits over the years, and we hope more people will find value in the information we share. It plays a critical role in connecting business and civic leaders within our community, providing invaluable networking opportunities.”