Celeste Headlee

Host & Exceutive Producer of "On Second Thought"

Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist who hosts GPB Radio’s “On Second Thought,” weekdays from 9 – 10 a.m. She has  appeared on NPR, PBS World, CNN, BBC and other networks and began working as a public radio journalist in 1999. She was formerly a host at National Public Radio, anchoring shows like “Tell Me More,” “Talk of the Nation,” “All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition.” Until September of 2012, Celeste was the co-host of the national morning news show, “The Takeaway” from PRI and WNYC.  

 

In 2014, she narrated the documentary “Packard: The Last Shift” for the Detroit Free Press. Headlee has won numerous awards for reporting from the Associated Press. She was selected twice to be a Getty/Annenberg Journalism Fellow and was selected as a fellow with the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources. She was also among the first fellows in Reporting on Native Stories for National Native News. For many years, she was a mentor and managing editor for NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project, training young reporters and editors in broadcasting.

 

 

Ways to Connect

How To Sing Like A Southerner

Apr 11, 2016
BREEANNE CLOWDUS/COURTESY OF THEATRICAL OUTFIT

We’ve talked on the show about the history of y’all and how to lie like a Southerner… but how does one sing with a Southern accent? It’s a question tackled in the upcoming production of “The Light in the Piazza” at the Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta. The award-winning musical takes place in the 1950s and tells the story of a wealthy Southern woman and her disabled daughter on a trip to Italy.

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Jackie Robinson broke many barriers in his lifetime both on and off the baseball field. The Cairo, Georgia native's rise took many people by surprise when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first African-American in Major League Baseball. A new documentary airing Monday and Tuesday night on GPB-TV tells Robinson's story through the lens of those who knew him best. Filmmaker Ken Burns talks with us about Robinson’s fight against prejudice.

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The I-75 corridor connecting Macon and Atlanta is one of the busiest interstates in the country. Trucks travel along the route to carry goods to and from the Port of Savannah. Traffic is expected to double, even triple, in the coming years as the port expands. The state hopes to mitigate congestion and make the interstate safer by building truck-only lanes along 40 miles of I-75. If successful, it’ll be the largest project of its kind in the U.S. and the most expensive, too.

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The Breakroom gang is back in the saddle to dissect and debate the week’s news. We talk about cultural appropriation of hairstyles, moving the NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte to Atlanta, and the difference between diversity and discrimination in the casting of Broadway’s “Hamilton.” 

After the break, the crew returns to chop up more of the week’s notable moments. We talk about the idea of a ‘gap year’ break for high school students, the new menu option known as the Burgerizza at Turner Field, and the idea that beautiful people don’t get substantial roles in Hollywood. 

Blackviolin / Wikimedia Commons

The Florida-based duo, Black Violin, is redefining music. A lot of their songs are a mixture of R&B, hip hop, and classical music. Members Will B and Kev Marcus are trying to diversify the appeal of classical  music. They’re performing Thursday night in Atlanta at Variety Playhouse. Will B talks about the duo’s appeal and their mission of getting making classical music more accessible. 

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The National Basketball Association has traditionally been dominated by men on and off the court. But over the years, efforts to promote inclusion have made headway in the form of female referees, front office staff, and even coaching. Here in Georgia, Nzinga Shaw hopes to further promote progress alongside the Atlanta Hawks as the NBA’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

We talk to Shaw about her time on the job and hear what she thinks has improved and what is left to be accomplished.

Courtesy of Morehouse Debate

Two hundred teams from schools across the nation will gather at Morehouse College this weekend for the U.S. Universities Debating Championship. Students will compete to become the American National Champion of collegiate debate. Morehouse will be the first historically black college to host the tournament. 

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Police officers have long used a controversial tactic to end car chases called precision immobilization technique, or PIT maneuver. Many departments restrict how and when this tactic can be used because it can be dangerous at higher speeds. The Georgia State Patrol does not have those policies. Freelance journalist Shawn Raviv recently wrote about the agency’s PIT policies, which has killed at least twenty-eight people in Georgia. 

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A new biography about the Godfather of Soul reveals what James Brown sought for so long to hide - his roots.  Author James McBride writes that the facts of Brown's life have become "twisted like a pretzel beyond recognition." McBride tries to set the record straight with "Kill 'Em And Leave: Searching For James Brown And The American Soul." 

Memory And The Atlanta Child Murders

Apr 6, 2016
BreeAnne Clowdus/Actor's Express Theatre

It’s been 35 years since a prime suspect was named in the disappearance and murder of nearly two dozen black children in Atlanta. The incident came to be known as the Atlanta Child Murders. Wayne Williams was named by law enforcement as the killer and he’s currently serving a life sentence for other crimes. “Serial Black Face,” a new play at the Actor's Express Theatre in Atlanta, explores the trauma for African-American families during this time.

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Governor Nathan Deal recently rejected controversial ‘religious liberties’ legislation that created a nationwide uproar. Alongside outcry from social activists who say the bill legalized discrimination against LGBT people, production companies for TV and film vowed to end their association with Georgia if the bill became law. Many feel that Hollywood’s billions ultimately defeated the fledgling bill, but did social activism play an equal or greater role?

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The 2016 election season has already altered the way we look at politics, much in part to the meteoric rise of GOP front runner Donald Trump. But for some minority voters, the chaos of the current political scene leaves them feeling disconnected with the political parties they’ve always known.  Demetrius Minor, a long-time black Republican, grew frustrated with his party and decided to renounce his affiliation last month.

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President Obama won the 2008 and 2012 presidential election thanks in large part to his campaign’s outreach efforts to the minority community. The African-American vote, in particular, reached a historic milestone in turnout and has become a significant focus in this year’s election. Are this year’s candidates successfully reaching that population of the electorate? 

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

South African attorney Mohamed Keshavjee is the latest recipient of the prestigious Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award for Peace, which is given out at Morehouse College. Past recipients include Rosa Parks, Andrew Young, and Nelson Mandela. Keshavjee talks about his work to help people in impoverished nations settle family disputes outside a courtroom.

DrJimiGlide / Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta's Clermont Hotel closed a few years ago, but the nearly century-old building retains its status as a place where interesting and sometimes unseemly things happened. There are even a few ghost stories. A new short documentary called Hotel Clermont records the last six months of this iconic structure's life before it closed. We talk with the film's director Heather Hutson and Bill Clark, who was the hotel's last manager before it closed in 2009.  

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This year,  the Atlanta Film Festival paid tribute to the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes," which was first released in 1991. The film stars Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Louise-Parker, and Mary Stuart Masterson. It's set in rural Alabama, but it was was filmed in Juliette, Georgia, just north of Macon. Director Jon Avnet talks about the production process, how being a feminist influenced the way he went about telling this story, and the film’s  legacy 25 years later.  

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It's Friday, and it's time to sit back, relax and celebrate Friday with our weekly Breakroom panel. We talk about yoga in the classroom, if Wonder Woman in the new “Batman v Superman” is too skinny, and whether the Internet is a good place to go when you need to make an important decision. 

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Long before Georgia became a film industry hub, the Atlanta Film Festival drew Hollywood types to the state. The 40th annual Atlanta Film Festival kicks off on Friday. More than 150 narrative and documentary films will be shown over 10 days. Jennifer Brett of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives us a preview of what to expect.

Gage Skidmore

The animated TV series, "Archer," wouldn't be the same without the creative team at Floyd County TV based in Atlanta.  But the voicework that helps the show come to life happens all around the country. 

 Lead voice actor H. Jon Benjamin has played the title character, Sterling Archer, for seven seasons on FX Networks now.  And he has one of the most recognizable voices in the world.  

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

We all inherit more than genetic material from our parents.  One documentary at this year's Atlanta Film Festival is proof of that connection.  Concerto tells the story of two brothers bound by three things - love, music, and a painful past.  

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Two’s a company and three’s a crowd, but does that apply to American politics? A number of Republicans have called for a third party candidate as Donald Trump gets closer to the Republican nomination. Are we witnessing the rise of the Independent Party?

We speak about third party politics with Ron Rapoport, Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary, and Murray Dabby, the co-coordinator of Georgia Independent Voters. 

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When Michael Sam became the first openly gay athlete to be drafted into the NFL back in 2014, important barriers to equality were broken. But not much has changed when it comes to tolerance in the NFL and other professional sports. Most recently, the Atlanta Falcons were ostracized for questioning the sexuality of a potential draft pick by asking him if he liked men during an interview. 

Former NFL player and current advocate Wade Davis joins us to discuss the lack of tolerance in pro sports. Writer and editor Erick Fernandez of Cycle also weighs in on the controversial issue. 

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 The National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit is currently underway in Atlanta. President Obama and a host of politicians, scientists, and medical professionals aim to address the problem of prescription drug abuse. Currently, misuse of prescription meds is responsible for an estimated 72 deaths a day, a number that has pushed the medical community to classify this problem as an epidemic. 

We are joined by Dr. Patrice Harris of the American Medical Association to discuss the problem of prescription drug abuse and what can be done to curb the problem.

An Animated Tour Of Archer's Atlanta Home

Mar 30, 2016
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"On Second Thought" host Celeste Headlee is a huge fan of the FX adult animated series, "Archer."  

 

The show's seventh season begins on Thursday, March 31st and Celeste got treated to the fangirl dream of a lifetime last month. "Archer" is designed, edited, produced and mixed at Floyd County TV studios in Atlanta, Georgia, just about a mile away from GPB's home base in Midtown.  And they invited us over for a tour and to meet the crew that makes this wildly popular show.

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Most major cities around the country cultivate a certain cultural tone over time. Portland is known as a hub of nostalgia and alternative lifestyles; Miami boasts a blend of Latin culture mixed in with a constant party vibe. But how is Atlanta defined culturally and how has that definition changed over the years?

 

 

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A group of faculty and student researchers at Kennesaw State University have recently discovered a new method for delivering vital proteins into human cells. This new method of cell penetration could have a number of important applications down the road, ranging from improvements to cosmetics all the way to aiding the fight against cancer.

We talk to KSU’s associate vice president of research Jonathan McMurry and graduate student Verra Ngwa about the science behind their team’s discovery. 

Johnathon Kelso

Beautiful music filled Big Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Alpharetta this past weekend.  More than a hundred people gathered there to sing. Not just any old songs but a style of music called Sacred Harp. The church was home to this year's Georgia State Sacred Harp Singing Convention. This event is in its 55th year, but the tradition of sacred harp is much older.  Much, much older.  

We speak with singer and photographer Johnathon Kelso and The Bitter Southerner's Editor-in-Chief Chuck Reece about the art of Sacred Harp music and its roots in southern gospel music

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A new Georgia museum that opened up last month tells the story of the legend of Bigfoot. “Expedition Bigfoot: The Sasquatch Museum” is located in Cherry Log, Georgia. We talk with the museum’s co-founder, David Bakara, about why he wants to educate others about what some believe is a myth. We also hear from author Keith Bearden, who says part of the secrecy behind Bigfoot is for the creature’s own good.

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For high school students from low-income households, the road to graduation can be filled with obstacles – and where they live is one of them.  The Brookings Institute has found a new link between states with high income inequality and dropout rates among low-income youths. According to the report, the perceived lack of social mobility is a big issue for low income students in states like Georgia.

Taylor Gantt

Healthy food options are often limited for low-income residents. The commute to the closest grocery store can take hours if you don't own a car. So, corner stores are often the place where people in these neighborhoods buy their food. But many of these stores don't offer fresh fruits and vegetables, and that can have deadly health consequences for those who depend on them. We speak with Rodney Lyn, who serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor in Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, about a project that aims to change that. 

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