Sean Powers

Acting Senior Producer - On Second Thought

Sean Powers is the acting senior producer "On Second Thought.” Powers is a native of the south suburbs of Chicago, and he graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri.  In 2012, he completed a fellowship at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He moved to Atlanta after working as a reporter for the public radio station in Urbana, Ill. His reporting has earned him about a dozen Associated Press awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, five national PRNDI awards, a first place award for best use of sound from the Atlanta Press Club, and recognition from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. After a long week of public radio, Powers enjoys live jazz and soul food. He also mentors teenage journalists who report for VOX Teen Communications, a magazine in Atlanta. In addition to his work at GPB, he also oversees the development of several podcasts for an audio book company in Atlanta called ListenUp Audiobooks.

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a leader in South Africa's anti-apartheid movement and ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, died Monday. She was 81. On Second Thought producer Fenly Foxen, who grew up in South Africa, spoke with host Adam Ragusea about Madikizela-Mandela's integral role in the fight against apartheid. Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, CEO of the TutuDesk Campaign and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, also joined from South Carolina. Tutu-Gxashe earned her master's degree from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. 

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic ruling Brown v. the Board of Education more than six decades ago. Linda Brown, the namesake of that landmark court case, died March 25. She was 76. 

With Brown v. Board, it became illegal to separate public school students by race. But since the landmark ruling, many schools in the South have resegregated, according to a report from the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study also found Latino student enrollment surpassed black enrollment for the first time.

We spoke about the resegregation of southern schools with Erica Frankenberg, associate professor of education at Penn State University, Belisa Urbina, executive director of Ser Familia, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution education reporter Maureen Downey.

National Park Service

April 4, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Today, we paid tribute to King's legacy by talking to the people who knew him, portrayed him and were inspired by him. 

LaRaven Taylor / GPB

Civil rights icon Xernona Clayton was both the organizer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a close advisor to Martin Luther King Jr.

She sat down with On Second Thought for a conversation about how King would feel about today's civil rights movements.

WSB-TV

The life of Martin Luther King Jr. has been the subject of a number of films.

The made-for-television film, “The Boy King,” tells the story of his youth. The WSB-TV movie focuses on  early prejudices King encountered in his childhood and how his family responded.

Associated Press

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.

So, in the last 50 years, how has the civil rights movement evolved, and where is it headed?

AP Images

Nearly a decade after Martin Luther King Jr's death, President Jimmy Carter posthumously awarded King the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The activist's widow, Coretta Scott King, accepted the award on his behalf. On Second Thought producer Sean Powers took us back to that day at the White House with an audio postcard.

Flickr

Georgia Congressman John Lewis is a man who wears many hats. He is a civil rights leader, a principled politician and a graphic novelist. We talked to him about his three-part graphic memoir, "March," which tells the story of the civil rights movement from Lewis's perspective. 

AP Photo/David Goldman

In August 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in Atlanta at the annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Less than a year later, he was killed in Memphis, Tennessee. We talked with Xernona Clayton, an advisor to King and one of the conference planners.

Wikipedia

In this rare 1961 interview with Martin Luther King Jr., King spoke with Eleanor Fischer, a reporter with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation who later worked for National Public Radio.

In the interview, King reflects on childhood run-ins with racial prejudice in Atlanta.

This interview was uncovered by archivist Andy Lanset and the WNYC archives. 

Interview Highlights: 

Eleanor Fischer: We're you aware of racial prejudices while growing up in Atlanta?

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