Celeste Headlee

Host & Exceutive Producer - 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.

 

 

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Atlanta is home to some of the best restaurants found in the Southeast. But to get your hands on some of that great food, you have to put up with an awful lot of noise. Restaurants around the city are getting increasingly noisier, but is it just high volume of patrons or conscious decisions made by owners?

We talk to Atlanta Magazine deputy food editor Evan Mah and interior designer Vivian Bencich to find out who or what is responsible for all the noise. 

Mercer University

Macon poet Anya Silver says her poetry has helped her come to terms with mortality. Silver’s life could have taken a much different turn. She was first diagnosed with an aggressive and lethal form of breast cancer when she was 35 years old and pregnant. It didn’t stop her. She continues to teach English at Mercer University, and she's a writer. Her poetry earned her a spot as one of last  year's Georgia Author of the Year award recipients.

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According to a report last year by the group The State of Obesity, black adults in Georgia have a 10% higher obesity rate compared to white adults. That gap is slightly lower than the national average. Soul food is a major staple in Southern culture, particularly among African-Americans. Is it to blame for obesity rates and other health disorders?

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Something horrible is happening in Waycross, Georgia. Four area children were diagnosed with rare forms of cancer last year.

Cindy Hill / GPB

The Savannah Music Festival kicks off this week, and along with the rock, hip hop, jazz, blues and country, you can also go hear opera. The festival collaborates with the Savannah Voice Festival every year and that is run by world famous baritone Sherrill Milnes and his wife soprano Maria Zouves. We talked with them last year just as they first entered into this partnership with the Savannah Music Festival.  

Why We Need Y'all

Mar 22, 2016
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Where did y’all come from? Okay, we’re not specifically talking to you. But, what does that signature Southern word really mean? We can trace the use of the word “y’all” all the way back to our colonial ancestors. Cameron Hunt McNabb, an English professor at Southeastern University, gives us a history and dialect lesson. 

The three-man music production team from Atlanta, known as Organized Noize, is credited with building the foundation of Southern hip-hop. Producers Rico Wade, Ray Murray, and Sleepy Brown were behind some of the biggest hits in hip-hop, including songs by Outkast, TLC, and Goodie Mob. Now, the trio is the subject of a new documentary called, “The Art of Organized Noize” on Netflix.

We listen back to our conversation with Organized Noize’s Ray Murray. What's your favorite song produced by Organized Noize?

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Bird songs play a big part in this week's Atlanta Science Festival.  The rhythmic sounds of birds have also inspired modern music compositions. On Second Thought producer Sean Powers joined some bird watchers at the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta to learn about the variety of chirps, tweets and calls in the state.

Bombchel Factory

The 2014 Ebola epidemic, the deadliest outbreak on record, killed more than 13,000 people. The World Health Organization has declared the epidemic over, but new cases are still being diagnosed. Georgia Tech alum Archel Bernard opened a clothing factory  in post-Ebola Liberia with two goals in mind: 1) Give hope and a source of income for Ebola survivors and 2) create a profitable business. 

atlantasciencefestival.org

The week-long Atlanta Science Festival is currently in full swing, offering interactive events and educational experiences for all ages. One event for adults, entitled 'The Science of Sin,'  uses the Seven Deadly Sins to present the latest scientific research associated with each sin. Seven researchers and scientists will present their findings and hold discussions with attendees.

We talk to Emory University’s Larry Young about the seduction of Lust and Sarah Brosnan of Georgia State University about the allure of Envy.

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Thankfully, its Friday once again! That means it's time for our Breakroom gang to reassemble and talk about all the noteworthy items of the past week. This week, we talk about the huge number of sexist/racist social media posts by the citizens of Atlanta, insurance policies designed to protect companies from crazy celebrity endorsers, and the budding 'bromance' between Chris Christie and Donald Trump.

This week, our Breakroom panel is:

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A church deacon and scout leader in Gainesville, GA has admitted to several counts of sexual abuse against minors during his time in the Boy Scouts.

Wikipedia Commons

The national conversation over the removal of Confederate memorials has inspired students at one Atlanta High School to act. The editorial staff of Grady High School’s student newspaper has called for the removal of the school's name in a recent editorial

One of the paper’s managing editors, Chloe Prendergast, explains why she and others no longer want to attend a high school named Grady.  

Elizabeth Chappell

The debate over whether the U.S. accepts or rejects refugees from Syria continues nationwide. Atlanta photographer Elizabeth Chappell has been working to document the refugee crisis in the Syrian town of Kobani. She's planning to return in a few months, but before she does, she told us about what she witnessed.

 

FREDDY COLE

Nat King Cole would be 97 today had he lived, but his legacy is very much alive.  And newly honored by a new album from his brother Freddy, who is a jazz musician in Atlanta. Freddy's  new album, "He  Was  The King,"  is a tribute to his brother, Nat. We  talk with Freddy about his storied career, and his brother’s legacy. 

The son of civil rights leader Ralph David Abernathy Jr. has died.  Ralph David Abernathy III served as a Georgia State Senator and was known for his own role in working toward racial equality. His most recent work involved efforts to build a memorial for activist icons like John Lewis, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King and his own parents. 

Wikipedia Commons

The Central Library in Atlanta is at the center of a debate over whether the Atlanta-Fulton County library system should downsize. This comes at a time when public libraries have yet to fully recover from the recession. Today’s libraries are so much more than quiet spaces to read a book. You can now find 3D printers and maker spaces among your favorite papers. But all this technological innovation comes at a price. 

Ro*Co Films/Abramorama

A case before the Supreme Court will determine whether a controversial Texas law places an undue burden on women who seek an abortion. Hundreds of these laws have been passed across the country. They're known collectively as "TRAP" laws, which stands for Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers. A new documentary called “Trapped” is now playing at the Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta and looks at how these laws have made it harder for abortion clinics in the South to keep their doors open.  

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In Georgia, state legislatures are conducted on a part time basis. Most legislators are also involved in major secular fields, including medicine, law, and real estate. A recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article cites that many of these legislators are bringing bills to the floor that will directly benefit their personal career field.

We talk to AJC reporter Aaron Gould Sheinin about the potential for conflicts of interest when part-time lawmakers deal with policies that can affect their own bottom line.

How To Lie Like A Southerner

Mar 16, 2016
The Rome News-Tribune

Call it a fib, a fiction, a white lie, or a fish story. Storytelling has long been part of Southern culture, and sometimes that means telling stories. Tomorrow kicks off the Second Annual Big Fibbers Storytelling Festival in Rome, Georgia. Fourteen fibbers from around the state will perform a five minute tall tale with the hopes of being crowned the new Big Fibber Champion.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

What people experience as minorities in America can vary based on gender, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic group.  But sometimes there are overlaps in these narratives.  A new class at Spelman and Morehouse Colleges explores relations between African-Americans and Asian-Americans through the lens of history.

Rebecca Kumar teaches the class called "How Does It Feel To Be A Problem?"  We chat with her and  two of her students who say their own experiences as African-Americans have shed a light on similar struggles facing Asian-Americans.

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Atlanta is growing and it's growing fast. For the last six years, Atlanta has been the top moving destination in the U.S., according to Penske Truck Rental. Within the next 25 years, expect many more new faces to the city.

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Being a teacher is not an easy job. Growing levels of career dissatisfaction, uncompetitive salaries, stress, low levels of teacher retention and many other factors make teaching a serious challenge. Ryan Neumann, a Cobb County teacher and host of the blog Neumannic Times, feels the weight of being a teacher and wrote a commentary based on the challenges voiced by many of his peers.

We take a listen to an excerpt of Ryan’s commentary and hear how he really feels about the his complicated career

publicdomainpictures.net

Although the average American life expectancy continues to improve, one demographic group has been dealing with substantial problems over the past few decades. Research from Princeton University discovered that older white Americans from ages 45-54 are experiencing sharp increases in health failure, poisoning from drugs and alcohol, and suicide.

    

jasonikeemrodgers.com

A conductor in Clarkston, GA is looking to add some much-needed diversity into the world of classical music. Jason Rodgers has founded Atlanta’s first all-black orchestra, which will be known as Orchestra Noir. The group will debut later in the year and hopes to encourage other classical music programs to further the cause of diversity.

We speak to conductor Jason Rodgers and Director of Community & Learning Caen Thomason-Redus for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra about the current status of diversity in classical music. 

The Return Of Purple Ribbon Sugarcane

Mar 14, 2016
Jim Melvin/Clemson University

Purple ribbon sugar cane tastes a little different from its tropical relative. For a while, it thrived on Sapelo Island off the coast of Georgia. Then, disease nearly wiped it out in North America altogether. Now a team of farmers, geneticists, and historians have come together to bring back the Purple Ribbon Sugar Cane. And, in doing so, help save Gullah Geechee culture.

Mothers

Drew Kirby of the Athens-based band Mothers contributes his nominations for our Georgia Playlist. He chooses songs by "The Olivia Tremor Control" from Athens and Atlanta-based "OutKast."

Emily Jones / GPB

Musicians from all over the world are in Savannah this week for the annual Stopover Music Festival. One of Georgia's hometown bands performing is Twisty Cats. Peter Mavrogeorgis and Blake Olmstead are the creative forces behind the group. They're married, and moved to Savannah a few years ago from New York. By day, they run a recording studio, and by night they perform what they describe as "Electro-gothabilly-Psych-Punk-Pop."

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The Stopover Music Festival brings in a hundred bands to perform over three days in Savannah. Many of the musicians are local, but some are out-of-towners who need a place to crash. Luckily, Savannah is the Hostess City and there are a large group of enthusiastic volunteers who open their hearts and even their homes to the bands. Our producer Sean Powers visited one of those homes, where he met the band Go!Zilla,

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After a long week, it’s time to kick back, relax, and look back at what’s happened since Monday. We talk about a call to ban homework, small churches vs. mega churches, and spending the night in slave quarters.

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