Flat Rock, one of the oldest African-American communities in the state of Georgia and a part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, is the subject of an exhibit at the DeKalb History Center and the Flat Rock Archives. The Deep Roots in DeKalb: The Flat Rock Story of Resilience exhibit is free and open to the public. As visitors learn about the people of Flat Rock and DeKalb County, they will discover a story of strength, ingenuity, and resilience that continues to this day.
The History of Flat Rock
From the days of enslavement to its rise as a close-knit agricultural community, Flat Rock thrived because of the selflessness of its leaders and the communal bond of its citizens. It was founded in 1822 with the birth of DeKalb County; the area became Lithonia, Georgia in 1856. Following the Civil War, some African-American families remained in the community of Flat Rock, working together to ensure success and safety in rural Georgia. One of the local leaders, T. A. Bryant, Sr., was pivotal in ensuring the successful development of this African-American community by purchasing and providing land to local families. Though dogged by marginalization and animosity, the people of Flat Rock flourished.
The exhibit at the DeKalb History Center was developed in partnership with the Flat Rock Archives, an organization dedicated to preserving Flat Rock and DeKalb County’s history and cultural legacy. “We are looking forward to the number of people that will learn about DeKalb County’s African-American history,” said Johnny Waits, President and Co-Founder of the Archives. “We hope that we can draw more interest in black history in DeKalb County.” Visitors can learn more about the Archives and plan a visit at http://www.flatrockarchives.com/.