On the night that Dr. King sought refuge in Greensboro, he had spoken at the city's St. Matthew A.M.E. church where Rev. Ralph Abernathy also spoke that night. That evening it became apparent that the Ku Klux Klan was on the hunt for Dr. King and that a road out of town might be blocked. Fearing for his safety, Dr. King was taken to the Turner home until the danger passed. As Burroughs said of that evening: “The night was black and we were black.”
The repurposed and wonderfully restored shotgun house is airy, compact, and welcoming. It has a modern glass addition which connects the past to the present and illustrates the ongoing struggle for civil rights. There is a gallery which is filled with a wide array of contemporary art by talented creators which illuminates the Civil Rights movement and honors leaders of that movement, including Rosa Parks and Billie Holiday. There are also unpublished photos of the civil rights movement in Alabama and the Black Belt, including photos of Bloody Sunday in Selma and the Greensboro marches.
Ever since its founding, the Safe House Museum has been illuminating the great and trailblazing work of its founder, Teresa Burroughs, Dr. King, and the many other courageous Civil Rights leaders whose legacy has impacted America to today. The museum will continue to inspire its visitors for many years to come, and try your best to see it for yourself.
The Safe House Museum is located at 518 Martin Luther King Drive in Greensboro; Teresa Burroughs was the driving force behind the street being renamed for Dr. King. Tours are available by appointment only and must be booked two weeks in advance. Tour guides Theresa Davis and Pat McCaa will answer all your questions as they accompany you through the past and educate young and old. The Safe House Museum has a part to play in bringing about a future of freedom and equality, as Burroughs envisioned: “Just act like you don’t know what color I am. Just equal, you know…that’s all I ask for. And then hey, I’m done.”