Tours by appointment only.

Call (864)-229-8801 for appointment

 

Benjamin E. Mays Museum

Interpretive Center

Benjamin E. Mays

Childhood Home

Original 1800s

One-Room School

The project to restore and interpret the Benjamin E. Mays home is now complete.  The site highlights the contributions of Dr. Mays to the dialogue about education and race in the United States and is a key focal point of understanding the struggle for civil rights in the American South. The Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Historical Preservation Site is THE destination for individuals and groups interested in learning about the life of Dr. Mays and his African American experience in South Carolina. School children , groups, and individuals can tour the childhood home of one of the nation’s most influential civil rights leaders, a man who has been referred to as the “Father of the Civil Rights Movement.”  Walk the grounds and see first-hand how life would have been around 1900:   an old wash pot with rinsing tubs, a chopping block with ax, a cedar post clothesline adorned with freshly washed sheets and clothes, the summertime garden with corn, tomatoes, okra, butterbeans, cantaloupe and cucumbers, and a cotton field all add to the ambience and feel of days gone by.  Bring a lunch and eat on the picnic benches under a nearby stately oak tree.

 

 

Visitors can experience how African-American sharecroppers lived and understand the monumental rise of Dr. Mays from the son of former enslaved parents to President of Morehouse College.  Visit the museum and view the many  photographs of Dr. Mays along with a large collection of his books, articles, memorabilia, and personal items.  Sit in the air conditioned/heated theater and view the new film Change in the Wind (commissioned by Ambassador Andrew Young of Atlanta) about Dr. Mays life and his secret relationship with Gone With The Wind author, Margaret Mitchell.  Listen to the profound and awe-inspiring speeches of Dr. Mays that have been found to include his eulogy to Martin Luther King Jr.  Hear the internationally-acclaimed Morehouse College Glee Club sing beautiful spirituals and one of Dr. Mays favorite songs, The Impossible Dream, which was sung at his funeral attended by almost 3,000 people on March 31, 1984.

 

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Greenwood’s most famous and distinguished son, was a monumental figure in American history.  He was an advisor to Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter, and  a close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King JR starting when King was a student at Morehouse College at the age of 15.  Dr. Mays mentored  King and it was due to the influence of Mays that King entered the ministry.  Mays had wanted Martin Luther King JR to deliver the eulogy at his funeral but fate decreed otherwise.  On April 9, 1968, Dr. Mays,  gave the eulogy to Dr. King and electrified the nation and world by his passionate and thought provoking speech.

 


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