Juneteenth in DeKalb County: Flat Rock, Bruce Street, Lenox Cupcakes

DEKALB COUNTY, GA – In honor of Juneteenth and to celebrate African American culture, there are many 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 Eleventh Independence Day. The name “Juneteenth” refers to the date of the holiday, and combines the words “June” and “nineteenth.”

Juneteenth Discover DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau has compiled a list of people’s cultural experiences. They can visit the Flat Rock Archive, believed to be one of the oldest African American communities in Georgia. There is also Bruce Street, DeKalb County’s first public black school. It was built and operated by the black community in Lithuania prior to incorporation as part of a grassroots community effort.

Don’t forget to check out local Black-owned businesses in DeKalb County like Who’s Got Soul Cafe in Decatur, Lenox Cupcakes, and more on tour.

Check the list below:

Experience a walk through African American history in DeKalb

Believed to be one of the oldest African American communities in Georgia, Flat Rock was founded and promoted by individuals who wanted to ensure the safety and success of African Americans in the aftermath of the Civil War. The Flat Rock community thrived in part because of the immense communal ties between its citizens as well as the altruism of its leaders. Theodore A. Bryant, Sr., developed Flat Rock by purchasing adjacent 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 constant hostility and prejudice, the residents of Flat Rock remained strong, resilient, and united.

Photo courtesy of Discover DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau

With the advent of Juneteenth, visitors and residents of Georgia can glimpse the past through the Flat Rock Archive. Located in Stonecrest, Georgia, Flat Rock Archives is located in the Arabian Mountains National Heritage Area (AMNHA), is located within a historic landscape and currently preserves the 20th century Georgian cottage known as TA Bryant, Sr. House built in 1917. The house of TA Bryant, Sr. was donated to the Archives by Reverend TA Bryant, son of the father and co-founder Reverend TA Bryant, Jr. The site also includes a barn, smokehouse, and outbuilding constructed throughout the 20th century.

Flat Rock Archives is part of a larger landscape within AMNHA and includes the oldest standing historic house in DeKalb County known as the Lyon House, the historic Flat Rock Cemetery with slave burials, as well as the DeKalb County’s first African American public school.

  • The first African American public school in DeKalb – Bruce Street School Preservedto:

This field encompasses African American history through the preservation and celebration of various projects. Like the Flat Rock Archives, Bruce Street Historic School has a history worth preserving. Also known as Lithonia Negro School and Lithonia Colored School, Bruce Street was built and operated by the black community of Lithuania prior to incorporation as part of a grassroots community effort. The school building has a rich history, and now people have a chance to determine how this space can become an active part of the community again.

Community members participated in engagement sessions designed to gather feedback on potential future uses and operationalization of the Bruce Street School site. The participants imagined themselves in the future, given what had been accomplished at Bruce Street School. Through these engagement sessions, the story of Bruce Street School has emerged and created an exciting opportunity to preserve the ruins of the old school and activate a place of community pride.

Awareness events for this project will conclude with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Juneteenth to reveal the future of the Bruce Street Historic School ruins.

Supporting black-owned businesses in DeKalb

Be sure to support local black-owned businesses on your trip to DeKalb. From restaurants to bakeries and from coffee shops to coffee shops, boutiques and beauty salons, there is a diverse range of people, businesses and cuisines.

Below is a list of some of the companies in the area that the Discover DeKalb Convention and Visitor Bureau recommends. The list is extensive and continues to grow.

Shop

In support of black-owned businesses, Wall Street’s New Black Market is a transformative, ambitious and spirited venture. This 125,000 square foot building located in Stonecrest promotes and encourages black entrepreneurs and aims to promote minority businesses. It is a celebration of rebirth that will become a thriving market filled with over 100 stores planned such as art galleries, grocery stores, jazz clubs and more.

The sounds and smells of DeKalb’s 140,000-square-foot market are almost engulfed in it. The local farmers market is the perfect place to shop for quality, fresh and affordable food.

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