This monument pays tribute to civil right leader John Wesley Dobbs, who was a Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge of Georgia, a leader in voter registration and political thought, and a famous orator who coined the phrase “Sweet Auburn. The “portrait mask” depicting Dobbs is inspired by the 12th century Nigerian life-sculpture tradition, and includes text and quotes inscribed on the interior of the mask, from where Auburn Avenue can be literally viewed “through his eyes.”
Ralph Helmick, a formally trained sculptor, was selected through CODA’s nationwide Call for Artists Initiative, and installed this piece for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
John Wesley Dobbs Plaza
Fort St. & Auburn Ave. SE
Atlanta, GA 30312