Atlanta has become a mecca for black culture.
There are songs, movies, and even a television show that are named for Atlanta. And anyone who has ever visited a cousin in this city or claims "Hotlanta" as their hometown knows that titles like Atlanta and ATL sum up what it is really like to be local.
Cinematic glitz and bustle have migrated over recent years to the city known for being the birthplace of the civil rights movement in America and an oasis where black history, some of the best HBCUs in the country, Southern hospitality, finger-licking food, and black art collide.
Tourists from all over the country, the world, travel to this city to capture Instagrammable pictures of buildings with rich tales breathed into its walls, or get a taste of some of the best shopping the South has to offer.
But as an Atlien myself, I have discovered hidden and underappreciated treasures in this city. In places like Atlanta, if you're fortunate enough to be able to wander, you'll live here forever and never stumble upon the same gems twice (unless you want to of course).
I would personally recommend these five art galleries that host black art to out-of-towners.
The home of former Atlanta physician and art collector, Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds, has been repurposed as an art gallery which houses some of the best African art the city has to offer.
The museum opened in 1988 and the staff continues to uphold Dr. Hammonds' legacy of "preserving and celebrating art from the African Diaspora", per the website.
Hammonds House is located in the historic West End of the city and is open for daily tours, excluding holidays.
Located in a white house on Cascade Road that many would easily mistake for a neighborhood home, is a gallery that displays photography by emerging and prominent African American photographers.
Not only are the artists behind the lens African American, but the subjects of the images are as well.
3. APEX Museum
With the motto "where every month is black history month", you cannot walk through the doors of the APEX Museum nestled on what was once known as "The Richest Negro Street in the World" and not want to return.
APEX, which stands for African American Panoramic Experience, is more than just a museum, but a safe haven for visitors to view black history from a different perspective than what was taught to many of us in school.
Founded in 1978 by Mr. Dan Moore, the APEX Museum is not just a learning center, but an art gallery as well.
Located near the famous Centennial Olympic Park, the ZuCot Gallery walls are decorated with the work of artists that have been featured on film and tv sets, on display at the Atlanta Board of Education Building, and in the homes of admirers.
Pieces by artists such as Charly Palmer, Kimmy Cantrell, and Lobyn Hamilton beckon travelers to stop and interpret in awe.
As an artist for more than 20 years, Sydney Carter founded this gallery to showcase his paintings as a tribute to the black heritage and the pain, suffering, and joy of African Americans.
Though Sydney's Creations can be found on the outskirts of the city limits, OTP (out the perimeter), the fact that celebrities such as Spike Lee, Dorian Haywood, and Babyface have bought his artwork should compel you to pay him a visit.
These are only a small fraction of the best art galleries and shops featuring black art in Atlanta. For me, strolling through a museum or art store is refreshing and inspiring. These halls are depositories of black history, talent, and freedom expressed through the fluidity of a paint brush.
So whether you are looking to recreate the popular Beyonce and Jay-Z art gallery pic, looking to add some pieces to your at-home collection or office space that will without a doubt have people asking you 'where did you get that from?', or seeking eccentric ways to reconnect yourself to your roots, these galleries will be unbeatable escapes to add to your bucket list.