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Celebrate MLK at These Historic Civil Rights Sites in the Village

By Danielle Tcholakian | January 13, 2017 4:37pm | Updated on January 16, 2017 2:48pm

GREENWICH VILLAGE — For residents reluctant to leave their neighborhood, but looking for a way to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy, The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has your back.

GVSHP put together a map of sites across Greenwich Village, NoHo and the East Village with significance for various civil rights movements.

Interested in learning more about women's rights? 

Head to 39 Fifth Ave., the one time home of Margaret Sanger, a pioneer of women's health and early birth control activist who launched the organizations that we now know as Planned Parenthood.

Sanger's home is just one of 23 women's history sites on the map, alongside 33 sites of LGBT significance, 16 places that figured in the fight for African-American rights, four for Hispanic history, and 25 with relevance to social justice and political activist in general.

The African-American sites include Cafe Society at 1 Sheridan Square, where Billie Holliday first performed "Strange Fruit," the former location of the AME Zion Chruch at West 10th and Bleecker streets, where people celebrated the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, which gave black men the right to vote, and the area around Minetta Lane, Street and Place, once referred to as "Little Africa" for the large population of African-Americans that lived there in the decades around the turn of the 19th century. 

Hispanic sites include Tompkins Square Park, where Puerto Rican national group The Young Lords founded their New York chapter in 1969, the Charas/El Bohio Community Center at 605 E. 9th St. and, of course, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe at 236 East Third St.

LGBT sites include the Bagatelle at 86 University Place, once one of the area's only lesbian bars, the home of Lorraine Hansberry, a lesbian and the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway, who lived at 112 Waverly Place, and of course, Stonewall Inn at 53 Christopher St.

Click on the sites on the map for detailed information about the significance of each one, and plan your own personalized tour for Monday.