On Second Thought

GPB Statewide and GPB Atlanta Monday Through Friday 9am

On Second Thought is a one-hour, daily news talk show that airs at 9 a.m. ET weekdays. 

Call us at 404-500-9457, tweet us @OSTtalk or visit us on Facebook.

In 1912, more than 1,000 black citizens were driven out of Forsyth County. Large tracts of land were seized and families were threatened with violence if they did not cooperate. Poet and author Patrick Phillips grew up in Forsyth County and documented the area’s complicated racial heritage in his new book, "Blood at the Root."

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The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes writer Nicki Salcedo of Decaturish.com, music blogger Jordan Stepp, Georgia State University professor Hector Fernandez, and Jeff Breedlove, who is the communications director for DeKalb County commissioner Nancy Jester.

BREAKROOM TOPICS:

Brigadier General Robert Lee Scott was a boy from Waynesboro, Georgia who went on to become a World War II hero. He was an American fighter pilot who flew in the Himalayas, one of the most dangerous routes possible at the time. Scott became a household name by writing about his experiences in the book “God is My Copilot” and played a key role in the opening of the Museum of Aviation near Robins Air Force Base. But he was also a flawed person, according to biographer Robert Coram.

U.S. Air Force/Wikipedia

Brigadier General Robert Lee Scott was a boy from Waynesboro, Georgia who went on to become a World War II hero. He was an American fighter pilot who flew over the Himalayas, one of the most dangerous routes possible at the time. Scott became a household name by writing about his experiences in the book “God is My Copilot” and played a key role in the opening of the Museum of Aviation near Robins Air Force Base.

How smart are animals? Humans may not be smart enough to know. That’s conclusion of primatologist Frans de Waal. He says humans tend to observe animal behavior with their own exceptionalism in mind. He bridges the dividing line between humans and animals in his new book "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?" We revisit our interview with de Waal about his research into the breadth of animal intelligence. 

Atlanta Chef Kevin Gillespie was a fan favorite on the TV cooking competition “Top Chef.” He now runs two restaurants in Atlanta: Gunshow and Revival. In his latest cookbook, “Pure Pork Awesomeness,” Gillespie professes his love of pigs (even the living kind) and shares recipes for the home cook without the “chef-y” language. We revisit our conversation with Gillespie who tells us about some of his favorite recipes and his definition of Southern food.

ExploreGeorgia.org

The state of Georgia has declared 2016 the Year of Georgia Music. Each month will be a celebration of people who make the state’s soundtrack come alive. Today, we feature two Georgia songwriters. Michelle Malone was born and raised in Atlanta and comes from a family of performers. Randall Bramblett was born in Jesup, Georgia and now lives in Athens.

We speak with the pair about what inspires their work and what being a singer-songwriter means to them. 

Author Colson Whitehead’s latest novel “The Underground Railroad” tells the story of a Georgia slave on a quest for her freedom by riding a train state-to-state. We talk with Colson Whitehead ahead of his appearance Wednesday night at the Carter Center in Atlanta. 

The Underground Railroad wasn’t a real railroad. There were no chugging engines or steel tracks, but there are both of those things in author Colson Whitehead’s latest novel, "The Underground Railroad." In his book, many historical details about the slave era are reimagined, and the route to freedom begins in Georgia.

This month, Smithsonian Magazine released its “Black in America” issue in honor of the opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African-American History and Culture. We talk with editor-in-chief Michael Caruso about the issue, and the future of activism via social media. Plus, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Emory University professor Natasha Trethewey reads her poem “We Have Seen.” The poem was inspired by the 53rd anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing which killed four young girls.

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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opens this Saturday. It will probably be a smooth and impressive experience for most visitors, but the creation of a museum isn't always smooth.

Smithsonian Magazine

We've talked a lot on the show about how activism has changed in this country. We've heard from civil rights leaders from the past and present. The new National Museum of African American History and Culture tells their story.

Wikipedia

Just over 53 years ago, a bomb exploded at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The predominately African-American congregation was preparing for Sunday service.

Four girls -- Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley -- were killed. Many other people were hurt.

MPI/Getty Images

The release of Smithsonian Magazine's Black in America issue coincides with the opening of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. While many civil rights activists stood up to the oppression in the Jim Crow South, others fled to different parts of the country. By 1970, around six million blacks made the trip.

The opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture marks a victory for Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia), who pushed for it for years. Lewis' story as one of the original Freedom Riders is included in Smithsonian Magazine's Black in America issue, which came out this month. We revisit our recent conversation with him. 

Music Midtown returns this weekend for its sixth year at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. The two-day festival has changed a lot since it was founded in 1994 by veteran music promoters Alex Cooley and Peter Conlon. This year’s lineup features a noticeably younger cast of artists, including DeadMau5, Kesha, and Atlanta-born soul singer Leon Bridges. We speak with Music Midtown co-founder Peter Conlon, who also serves as president of Live Nation Atlanta (which produces the festival), about the future direction of the festival. 

Music Midtown returns this weekend for its sixth year at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. The two-day festival has changed a lot since it was founded in 1994 by veteran music promoters, Alex Cooley and Peter Conlon. This year’s lineup features a noticeably younger cast of artists, including DeadMau5, Kesha, and Atlanta-born soul singer Leon Bridges. We speak with Music Midtown co-founder Peter Conlon, who also serves as president of Live Nation Atlanta (which produces the festival), about the future direction of the festival.

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It's Friday! Our Breakroom gang returns to discuss the week’s news, including the new iPhone, minority-majority in Norcross, and self-diagnosing yourself on WebMD.

Then, we discuss the death of facts in America, literacy as a constitutional right, and making music a requirement in schools. 

This week, our Breakroom gang is:

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

One of the groups performing at the Music Midtown festival is The Coathangers, a staple in Atlanta’s punk rock scene. We asked Meredith Franco and Julia Kugel, two of the band’s members, to add two songs to our Georgia Playlist. They chose works by Black Lips and Subsonics

A conductor in Clarkston, Georgia is looking to add some much-needed diversity into the world of classical music. Jason Rodgers has founded Atlanta’s first all-black ensemble, which will be known as Orchestra Noir. The group hopes to encourage other classical music programs to further the cause of diversity. Orchestra Noir will debut on Friday, September 16 at the Georgia Freight Depot. We revisit our conversation with Rodgers and Caen Thomason-Redus of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra about the current status of diversity in classical music.

For generations, U.S. presidents had slaves. Ten of the first fifteen presidents were slave owners or raised in a slaveholding household, a fact that’s often left out of history books.

TED

Frequent listeners of NPR’s "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" may know of Maz Jobrani. He's an Iranian-American comedian and actor, and a frequent panelist on the show. Jobrani says comedians can play an important role in challenging stereotypes. He’s been doing it for years.  We caught up with him ahead of a series of performances this week at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta.

Frequent listeners of NPR’s "Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me" may know of Maz Jobrani. He’s an Iranian-American comedian and actor, and a frequent panelist on the show. Jobrani says comedians can play an important role in challenging stereotypes. We talk about how he’s doing that ahead of a series of performances this week at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta.

WILDFLOWERNEWS

Atlanta activist Cecily McMillan is only 27 years old, but she's experienced things that most of us won’t ever face. In 2014, McMillan was convicted for assaulting a police officer during an Occupy Wall Street protest, and she served three months behind bars at Rikers Island in New York. She made numerous accusations while incarcerated about abuse and prisoner neglect.

We speak with her about her new memoir, "The Emancipation of Cecily McMillan," which chronicles her time at Rikers Island.

Mercer University

World-renowned violinist Robert McDuffie has opened a music conservatory at Mercer University in Macon. It not only focuses on musical talent, but also offers a broad-based education and teaches students how to survive financially as working musicians. He talks about the McDuffie Center for Strings and why some consider it to be the “Juilliard of the South.” 

Rock Candy Tours via Facebook

Otis Redding, the Allman Brothers and Little Richard are just a few of the top-notch musicians to get their professional start in Macon, Georgia. But there are many other talented Macon artists who haven't gotten the same recognition.

As part of our Year of Georgia Music series, we speak with Jessica Walden and Jamie Weatherford of Rock Candy Tours in Macon, which takes guests to visit some of the historical music sites in that city.

YOUTUBE

If Aretha Franklin is the “Queen of Soul,” Otis Redding was the king. He died in 1967 at the young age of 26, but not before recording some of the most powerful soul records that still resonate with contemporary listeners. Last weekend, Macon hosted a festival in honor of the fallen soul-singer, including musical performances from his two sons. Author Mark Ribowsky examines Redding’s legacy from his upbringing in Georgia to his untimely death.

We speak with Mark Ribowsky, author of "Dreams to Remember: Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul."

If Aretha Franklin is the “Queen of Soul,” Otis Redding was the king. He died in 1967 at the young age of 26, but not before recording some of the most powerful soul records that still resonate with contemporary listeners. Last weekend, Macon hosted a festival in honor of the fallen soul-singer, including musical performances from his two sons. Author Mark Ribowsky examines Redding’s legacy from his upbringing in Georgia to his untimely death. He talks about his book, “Dreams to Remember: Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul.”

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