Augusta is a small city steeped in Southern tradition, with no pretense about getting larger. Founded as a trading post during the British colonial period, the city showcases Antebellum mansions, hallowed historic sites, and mature tree-lined avenues perfect for strolls. Nestled on the banks of the Savannah River, Garden City is a blend of charm and city fun. It features arts, culture, shopping, and fine cuisine appropriate for a small city. African-Americans should visit the city to honor the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, who grew up here.
The National Golf Club hosts the first major golf tournament of each year, The Masters. This tournament is one of the sport’s four major championships each year. The best male golfers in the world come here during the first full week of April every year. The golf grounds are known for being pristine and ranked as one of the best in the world.
The city has a humid subtropical climate with short, mild winters, very hot, humid summers, and a wide temperature variation throughout much of the year. About 55% of the population is African-American and there a many historic black churches. Soul Food around these parts is legendary. The short drive makes it a charming day trip from Atlanta, Columbia, or Birmingham.
Augusta Black Heritage Sites
James Brown Monument
DESCRIPTION: Dedicated before the Godfather of Soul died on 25 December 2006, it is located in a relaxing, green downtown plaza also named after James Brown. Fans leave flowers and notes on the anniversary of his birthday on 3 May 1933. The favorite pastime of city visitors is taking a photo next to the statue. James Brown is dearly missed as a businessman, humanitarian and one of of the greatest entertainers to ever live.
DAYS & HOURS: dawn to dusk
ADDRESS: Broad Street between 8th Street & James Brown Boulevard, Augusta, GA MAP
Tabernacle Baptist Church
DESCRIPTION: Formally organized as the Beulah Baptist Church on Friday, August 21, 1885, in the Union Baptist Church. The organizational leader for the church was the Reverend Charles Thomas Walker. At the request of Reverend Walker, the name of the church was changed, by unanimous vote, to Tabernacle Baptist Church.
ADDRESS: 1223 Laney-Walker Blvd, Augusta, GA MAP
SUNDAY WORSHIP: 8a and 11a
Union Baptist Church
SUNDAY WORSHIP: 11:15a
ADDRESS: 1104 Greene Street, Augusta, GA MAP
Springfield Baptist Church
DESCRIPTION: The oldest African-American Baptist Church of continuous service in its original location. It is situated between Campbell’s Gully and Hawk’s Gully, which was divided into six fifty-acre grants under Oglethorpe’s 1736 plan for the city and settled during the colonial period. The name “Springfield” first appeared on a plot of land west of Campbell’s Gully in 1759.
ADDRESS: 114 12th Street, Augusta, GA MAP
SUNDAY WORSHIP: 10a
Beulah Grove Baptist Church
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1914 largest black church in August with 7,000 members. BGBC had its beginning with approximately twenty members, under the leadership of Rev. John Henry Evans, when it separated from Mount Sinai Baptist Church. The church relocated in the 1920s from 15th street to its present location.
ADDRESS: 1434 Poplar Street, Augusta, GA MAP
SUNDAY WORSHIP: 7:45a, 10:45a, 6p
Chef Redd’s Cafe
DESCRIPTION: Located in the Fort Gordon area, this BBQ and Soul Food cafe specializes in beef brisket, baked beans, and potato salad.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 7a-2:30p
ADDRESS: 506 Chamberlain Avenue, Augusta, GA MAP
PHONE: 706-267-4700 and 706-791-7091
Madison Day Kitchen
DESCRIPTION: Located in the United House of Prayer for All People, this buffet restaurant specializes in Soul Food.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 11a-3p
ADDRESS: 1269 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta, GA MAP
Augusta Black Pages
ADDRESS: 3114 Augusta Tech Drive, Suite 108, Augusta, GA
Jesse Norman Amphitheater
ADDRESS: 15 8th Street, Augusta, GA MAP
Penny Savings Bank
DESCRIPTION: At the turn of the century, it was one of the nation’s first independently owned black banks; the building has been restored and now houses a variety of shops.
ADDRESS: 1114 James Brown Blvd, Augusta, GA MAP
Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance Company
DESCRIPTION: Several small black insurance companies joined forces in 1898 to found this company and become the largest employer of blacks in Augusta; the building now serves as the private offices of the Walker Group.
ADDRESS: 1143 Laney-Walker Blvd, Augusta, GA MAP
A.R. Johnson High School
DESCRIPTION: Named for the first African American certified teacher in Georgia.
ADDRESS: 1324 Laney-Walker Blvd, Augusta, GA MAP
Lucy Laney High School
DESCRIPTION: Named in honor of one of the state’s most influential educators of black youth. Laney’s grave is located on the school grounds.
ADDRESS: 1339 Laney-Walker Blvd, Augusta, GA MAP
DeShawn’s Seafood Restaurant
DESCRIPTION: Owned by James Brown’s son-in-law and one of his bodyguards. Don’t miss the fried catfish, fried shrimp, collard greens & yams!!
DAYS & HOURS: Wed-Sat 11a-10p Wed-Sat
ADDRESS: 429 Belvedere Road, Clearwater, SC MAP