Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

Atlanta BeltLine takes a step into the past with civil rights photo display

Sixty images of Atlanta's iconic past hope to enrich and inspire the city's future

ATLANTA -- From the pages of history and onto the trail: Atlanta's civil rights story is coming to life in a photography exhibit along the Atlanta BeltLine.

Historian Karcheik Sims-Alvarado has turned a stroll along the popular trail into a tour of Atlanta's rich history.

"This exhibition ties into the people [who] actually live here and so it's just a great way to be able to exhibit these images," Sims-Alvarado said.

Sixty images now line four miles of the east and west-side trails to create the nation's longest outdoor exhibit on civil and human rights in the United States. And the whole things is free to anyone who passes.

"I wanted to show that women were also activists in the movement," Sims-Alvarado said.

The historian worked with several organizations and publishers to gather the collection of photos featuring both familiar names and some unsung faces and stories of the movement.

Nonet Sykes, the chief equality and inclusion officer for the BeltLine, said the temporary art installation is just one of many along the trails.

"We just brought that art to life and large form along the BeltLine and it's displayed on the BeltLine in a way that it draws you in and encourages you to keep walking along the BeltLine," she said.

Together, the collection provides, experiences, reflections and a look at what was. The goal: to enrich and inspire the future.

In conjunction with the display, the Atlanta BeltLine and the Atlanta Opera have a special event planned on Saturday titled "Belting on the BeltLine: Our Walk to Healing."

In it, opera singers will sing during a processional through the pieces of the exhibit.