On Second Thought

GPB Statewide and GPB Atlanta 11 a.m. Friday, 7 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday

On Second Thought is a one-hour news talk show that airs at 11 a.m. Friday, 7 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

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© Spider Martin. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

John Lewis has gotten into a lot of trouble in his life. The now 17-term House Representative from Atlanta has been arrested 45 times – five as a U.S. congressman.

One of the original Freedom Riders, Lewis trained in nonviolent resistance, but faced a lot of brutality during his time as a young activist in the civil rights movement. He suffered harassment and attacks during lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville, his skull was fractured by a blow from a Klansman in 1961, and he was badly beaten after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on Bloody Sunday.


Courtesy of Mahalia Latortue/Anacaona Pictures

Growing up, Mahalia Latortue says she had three career options — doctor, lawyer or engineer. But despite starting her undergraduate studies at Oakwood University in Alabama focused on pre-law, she graduated with a passion for filmmaking.

Today, she’s a recent Savannah College of Art and Design film graduate who founded her own Atlanta-based production company called Anacaona Pictures. The company’s mission is to “create diverse, untold stories and provide a voice to the voiceless.”


John Lewis has served as U.S. Representative for Georgia's 5th Congressional District since 1987, and is known for his passionate work both in the civil rights movements and on Capitol Hill. A new documentary called John Lewis: Good Trouble goes beyond the highlight reel of his storied life and reveals more personal elements of the man and the figure. On Second Thought hears from the film’s director and producer Dawn Porter and producer Erika Alexander about how the film connects his legacy of seeking justice from his youth to his role as a revered congressman today.


Courtesy of the Savannah Police Department, Love Beyond Walls, Jerald Nuness, and Dr. Andre Brock

For generations, "The Talk" has been a mainstay in African American families. At some point, Black children all get warnings from elders about how to avoid – and survive – police encounters.

It’s a rite that cuts across region, socioeconomic status and profession – even for members of law enforcement.

 


Emily Jones / GPB News

America’s mayors have taken center stage in 2020. Big city mayors feuded with state and federal officials over COVID-19 protections and resources, and have been praised — and condemned — for their handling of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

These crises may be unfolding on a national and international scale, but affect lives in every American city and town. Outside of Atlanta’s national spotlight, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson is working to address these issues head-on.


Linda Wilder-Bryan

When COVID-19 hit Savannah, city leaders were particularly concerned about the homeless population — or “roofless people,” as 3rd District Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan prefers. Her drive to help people who couldn’t get into shelters led to a proposal for “Dundee Village.”

Now, plans are underway for a safe and sanitary complex of tents – which will later be converted to livable shipping containers – to house people displaced by the pandemic and at risk of contracting COVID-19 on the streets.


America’s mayors have taken center stage in 2020. Big city mayors feuded with state and federal officials over COVID-19 protections and resources, and have been praised — and condemned — for their handling of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

These crises may be unfolding on a national scale, but affect lives in every American city and town. With Atlanta officials already in the national spotlight, On Second Thought turned to local leaders in Savannah — Georgia’s first city and the state’s largest coastal municipality — to see how they are responding. We begin with Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, who took office in January of this tumultuous year. He shed light on his decision-making processes and vision for the city’s future.


Photography by Melissa Alexander

Today, in celebration of Juneteenth, Power Haus Creative has organized what they’re calling the “Juneteenth Takeover” – in which 19 Atlanta artists will display their work on the exterior of the historic Flatiron building in downtown Atlanta.

Carlton Mackey and Melissa Alexander are two of those artists.

 


Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

While the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Sandra Bland galvanized the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the killings of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have forced America to reckon with centuries of racial injustice and police brutality in unprecedented ways.

Not only have protests demanding change been widespread, but major corporations — which, until now, have been largely silent and hesitant to embrace Black Lives Matter — are pledging to fight racial injustice and declaring their support of the nearly seven-year-old movement.


While the deaths of Travon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Sandra Bland galvanized the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the killings of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have forced America to reckon with centuries of racial injustice and police brutality in unprecedented ways.

 

Not only have protests demanding change been widespread, but major corporations — which, until now, have been largely silent and hesitant to embrace Black Lives Matter — are pledging to fight racial injustice and declaring their support of the nearly seven-year-old movement. We discuss the significance of those corporate responses, as well as new challenges these companies face to commit to righting past wrongs.

 

 


Image shared with Project Row Houses by a Third Ward resident and made available online in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

In 2002, On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott recorded stories of residents from the Houston neighborhood where George Floyd grew up. Virginia reflected on the rich cultural legacy of the historically African American community. 

 

George Floyd was laid to rest in Pearland, Texas earlier this week. He was buried next to his mother, known as "Miss Cissy" in Houston's Third Ward, where Floyd grew up. Beyonce and Solange Knowles were also raised in the neighborhood. So was the actor Phylicia Rashad, the director and choreographer Debbie Allen, and musicians Samuel John "Lightnin'" Hopkins and Jason Moran. 

 

 


Ragan Clark / AP Photo

In the weeks since protests against police brutality began in Minneapolis, calls to reform, defund or abolish the police have been escalating. Demands for reform or cuts to police budgets aren’t new among activists, but a pledge by the Minneapolis City Council to “dismantle” the police department is unprecedented. The mayors of Los Angeles and New York City have also announced that they would both divert city funds from police departments to social service budgets.

Practically speaking, what would it mean to “defund” the police? On Second Thought sat down with Cedric Alexander, former police chief of DeKalb County, and Michael Leo Owens, associate professor of political science at Emory University, to dissect the history and meaning behind the language of the protest movement.


Photo Illustration by Josh Begley for Type Investigations

While protests set off by the killing of George Floyd show no signs of letting up, another quieter protest has been stirring at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Irwin County, Georgia. 

There, a group of detainees staged a hunger strike and protest over video chat to raise the alarm over a lack of precautions against the spread of COVID-19 inside the detention center.


In the weeks since protests against police brutality began in Minneapolis, calls to reform, defund or abolish the police have been escalating.

 

These demands aren’t new among activists; however, responses from local governments across the country committing to redirect police funds or even “dismantle” police departments have been unprecedented. We break down reasoning, history and motivations behind the push to change how policing operates nationwide.

 

 

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, rage that had accumulated over centuries of racial violence spilled into the nation's streets.

From Atlanta, Macon and Savannah to London, Amsterdam and Paris, protesters are flooding streets that, only weeks ago, stood nearly empty due to fears of COVID-19. The crowds are unprecedented in their size, diversity and condemnation of police brutality and systemic racial injustice. Despite early property damage, largely peaceful protests have gained momentum over the course of the last week. 

 


NINA SUBIN / Cover Courtesy of Scribner

Mary Beth Keane’s 2019 novel Ask Again, Yes was an instant New York Times bestseller, and is now out on paperback.

The book follows the families of two New York City police officers who live next door to each other in a suburb north of the city – and a tragedy that divides them and their children over four decades.


Hyosub Shin / AJC

On Mar. 11, 1985, Harold and Thelma Swain were shot in the vestibule of a Baptist church in rural southeast Georgia during evening Bible study. Witnesses from the black congregation described a white man with shoulder-length hair who fled the scene.

Despite years of investigation by both the local sheriff’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the case had gone cold by the end of the decade; even the leads generated by a 1988 episode of Unsolved Mysteries about the case proved false.


In 2003, Brunswick prosecutors convicted Dennis Perry of killing a couple in their church back in 1985 — while another suspect had admitted to the murder on tape. Renewed interest in the case from the Georgia Innocence Project and a true crime podcast spurred Joshua Sharpe, criminal justice reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, to revisit an early suspect’s alibi.

 

Sharpe's research unveiled new DNA evidence, and prompted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to reopen the case. Sharpe joins On Second Thought to talk us through what he learned in his nearly year of reporting on the 35 year-old case.

 

 


Courtesy of I Run With Maud

The last 35 seconds of Ahmaud Arbery’s life have been viewed, studied, dissected and discussed all over the world. That’s because of a video that went viral, showing his final moments before he was shot on a shady street in Satilla Shores, Georgia on February 23.

And while his death has made international headlines, the people of his community remember Arbery for how he lived.

 


Chase McGee

From cookbooks to constitutional rights, On Second Thought is proud to present another five stories from our archive to motivate you this Monday.

1) Historian Jill Lepore Explores 'These Truths' Of United States History

Courtesy of Alan Walden

Tributes have poured in from around the world since Little Richard’s death on Saturday, May 9. His influence crossed decades and borders, and he was beloved as one of Georgia’s own, always proudly proclaiming his love for his hometown of Macon.

Not known for understatement, the man born Richard Wayne Penniman in 1932 – the third of 12 children – staked his own claim as the “architect of rock ‘n’ roll.”


Eduardo Montes-Bradley / Cover Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

James Madison was the fourth president of the United States, one of the founders of our country and author of the first drafts of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Dr. Bettye Kearse grew up being told that he was her great-great-great-great-grandfather.

“Always remember, you’re a Madison,” her mother often told her.


Canva

While segments of Georgia’s economy have reopened, last week Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton extended the judicial emergency for the state’s courts until June 12.

Some procedures have been held on Zoom, but criminal and jury trails – and the summoning or impaneling of new grand juries – have been suspended since shelter-in-place orders began in mid-March.


While segments of Georgia’s economy have re-opened, last week Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton extended the judicial emergency for the state’s courts until June 12. Some court procedures have been held on Zoom since shelter-in-place orders began in mid-March.

On Second Thought explored the impact of coronavirus on the courts — as well as the implications for the pending case on the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery.


Chase McGee / GPB

The South claims and contains a multitude of impressive art, music and culture. From Pultizer Prize-winning poetry to dreamy indie-pop music, this week’s five from the On Second Thought archives can help get you through another unorthodox workweek.

Tony Pearce / Cover Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Author Sue Monk Kidd was raised in a conventionally Baptist family in Sylvester, Georgia. Her memoir, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, follows her turn from fundamentalism into sacred feminine traditions.

While best known for The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd has written three bestselling novels. Her newest novel, The Book of Longings, imagines the life of a first century woman named Ana, who becomes the wife of Jesus of Nazareth.


Andres Kudacki / AP

Compared to the lockdowns and shuttered businesses in countries across the world, Sweden is an outlier. Swedish officials have advised citizens to work from home and avoid travel, but most schools and businesses have remained open.

This relaxed approach aims to minimize impact on the economy and slow the spread of the virus through what is known as “herd immunity.” But striving for herd immunity without a controlled vaccine in place can also prove risky.


Obelensky/Pexels

In addition to changing many aspects of our waking lives, coronavirus has also shifted how we dream.

Institutions around the world have been collecting examples of dreams since the outset of the pandemic, and some researchers found a 35% increase in dream recall since lockdown.

On Second Thought sat down with Harvard University Assistant Professor Deirdre Barrett to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on our dreaming minds. Barrett has analyzed dreams of World War II soldiers, 9/11 first responders, and Kuwaitis under Iraqi occupation. Since March, she’s collected details on more than 7,000 dreams to study how people are responding to coronavirus in their dreams.


Compared to the lockdowns and shuttered businesses in countries across the world, Sweden is an outlier. Swedish officials have advised citizens to work from home and avoid travel, but most schools and businesses have remained open. This relaxed approach aims to minimize impact on the economy, and slow the spread of the virus through what is known as “herd immunity.”

Now, as the U.S. weighs further spreading the disease against the impact of a tanked economy, some Americans — particularly conservatives — are looking toward Sweden’s model as an option. On Second Thought unpacks the merits, risks and strategy behind Sweden’s approach, and what has become a political talking point here in the U.S.


Pria Mahadevan/GPB

From pit bulls to political humor and feminist literature to Folsom State Prison, we’ve got five more stories from the On Second Thought archive to help you weather another Monday. 

1) One Man's Mission To Protect 'The Dog America Loves To Hate'

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