Celebrating some of Atlanta’s African-American Leaders who got their start in Scouting.

As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to recognize the incredible triumphs made by some of history’s great leaders and how they got their start within Scouting.

From Civil Rights activists to Baseball Hall of Famers, we are proud to celebrate the achievements these Scouts overcame.

The Civil Rights Pioneer

Martin Luther King, Jr., an American civil rights hero, was a Scout from right here in Atlanta, GA. King was a member of Troop 151 at Ebenezer Baptist Church. King later became pastor of the church he once met his fellow Scouts in during Troop meetings. Ebenezer Baptist Church is now part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

The Atlanta Area Council still has the handwritten Troop Charter Renewal forms which include the names of Dr. King, as well as his father who served as the Troop’s Chartered Organization Representative. 

Scouting is still alive and thriving at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Pack and Troop 213 continue to meet there every other Sunday.

Scouts prepare for the bi-annual Heritage Hike beginning at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The Heritage Hike is hosted by the Atlanta Area Council, BSA. Click here to learn more.

The Political Leader

Andrew Young Jr. was an activist for the civil rights movement alongside Martin Luther King Jr. He became a member of Congress, mayor of Atlanta and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

As a boy, Andrew Young spent many hours reading the Scout Handbook. While he was never able to join a Scout Troop, he practiced the pillars that Scouting holds most dear. He explains that he read his handbook almost as much as he read his Bible. He memorized the oath and law, learned his knots and gleaned as much wisdom as he could from that quintessential book.

Throughout his fifty-plus year career in civic, national and international politics Young has always remembered reading the Scout Handbook. Years later, he can still recite the Scout Oath from memory, and its principles have served as a guide for his life and work every day.

The Hall of Famer

Hank Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama, but became a baseball legend in Atlanta and across the nation during his time with the Atlanta Braves. Aaron was celebrated as the “Home Run King” for more than three decades. The young ball player was not only an influence on the field, but an activist for change. 

Aaron hit 755 home runs in his legendary baseball career — the second-most in history. Aaron enjoyed Scouting as a boy, and he has been a friend of Scouting throughout his life. The BSA presented him with the Silver Buffalo Award in 1984.