On Second Thought For Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Jan 30, 2018


An Atlanta man with a history of mental illness was put in jail for almost three months recently because he couldn’t pay $500 in bail. He was released earlier this month. Since then, the city of Atlanta has announced changes to its cash bail system and there are calls for broader reforms across the state. We talked to Marissa Dodson, Public Policy Director for the Southern Center for Human Rights, about where Atlanta’s misdemeanor system falls flat. And we spoke with Jennifer Sellitti, from the Office of the Public Defender in New Jersey, about her state’s acclaimed bail reforms.


Julie Lythcott-Haims is the seventh generation of her family to grow up in the United States.  And yet, she is still asked, over and over: “Where are you really from?” She responds eloquently in her new memoir: “Real American.” It tells a life story of being biracial in a society where people are exceedingly quick to classify and label by ethnicity. Lythcott-Haims was in Atlanta for a book signing at the Margaret Mitchell House at 7 p.m. Jan. 30. She joined us in the studio.


In due time, Cobb County will be home to a cafe that serves two roles: drink coffee and play with adoptable cats. Last year, Java Cats Cafe opened its doors in Atlanta Grant Park neighborhood. Now, it’s looking to expand to Marietta. GPB’s Sean Powers visited the Atlanta location last year just a few months after it opened.

Literature from the South has a distinct flavor. But try putting your finger on exactly what that flavor is, and you find definitions as nuanced as Southern identity itself.  We’re talked about the appeal of the South in the literary world with an all-star panel of writers. Susan Rebecca White is an Atlanta-based author of many works, including the highly-praised “A Place at the Table.” Tayari Jones grew up in Atlanta. And this year she was inducted into the Georgia Authors Hall of Fame by the University of Georgia.  Her latest book is “An American Marriage,” on shelves next week. Jones often writes about the urban South, focusing on the lives of African American families. And from Chapel Hill, North Carolina we spoke to Daniel Wallace, whose works include the critically acclaimed novel, “Big Fish.”