Breakroom

Spring has arrived in Georgia. Are you ready to relax outside with a good book? We asked Literary Atlanta podcast host Alison Law and Decatur-based author Nicki Salcedo to tell us about the best new books by Southern writers. We also talked with the Breakroom gang about the most discussed news items of the week.

Courtesy of Kendrick Lamar

This week we talked about mandatory gun owernship laws, Vidalia onions and the Pulitzer Prize — and that doesn't even include the week's news. On Second Thought host Tony Harris sat down with our Breakroom panel to process everything that happened.

LaRaven Taylor / GPB

This week's Breakroom panel looked back at the week in news. Former NPR correspondent Kathy Lohr, film critic Stephen Brown, freelance writer Anjali Enjeti and "Greg's List" host Greg Williams chimed in on Mark Zuckerberg's congressional hearing, mass resignations at Atlanta's city hall and the controversial portrayals of Asian characters on shows such as "The Simpsons." 

Saturday marks two months since a school shooting killed 17 students and educators in Parkland, Florida. Since then, we’ve heard public outrage transform into ever more urgent calls for reforms to the nation's gun laws. Antoinette Tuff knows first-hand what it’s like to come face-to-face with a school shooter: On Aug. 20, 2013, she was working at Decatur’s Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy when a 20-year-old gunman entered with an AK-47 military assault rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition. Tuff talked the gunman down, and no one was injured or killed. She tells us whether teachers should be armed.

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. 

Normally when you think of cherry blossoms, you think of Washington D.C. or Japan. But unbeknownst to a lot of tourists, Macon, Georgia is the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. William A. Fickling Sr. discovered the distinctive blooms in his backyard in 1949.

Leighton Rowell / GPB

Today in the Breakroom we talked about this week's top stories.

On Second Thought for Friday, February 16, 2018

Feb 16, 2018

We talked with Atlanta native Tayari Jones. Her latest novel, “An American Marriage,” was included this month in Oprah’s Book Club. Jones is in Savannah this weekend for the annual Savannah Book Festival.

Marvel’s Black Panther is now showing nationwide. It was produced and partially filmed in Georgia. We meet two of the people who worked behind the scenes.

In honor of the Savannah Book Festival, we headed into the Breakroom with an all-authors panel.

The Tide Pod Challenge has sent dozens of people, many of them young teens, to hospitals across the country. Eating laundry detergent may seem like a new level of stupidity, but kids and adolescents have been doing dumb things to impress each other for a long time. And, despite first appearances, there might actually be good reasons why. Joining us to talk through this are Catherine O’Neal, Assistant Research Scientist at UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Jay Hathaway, Senior Writer at the Daily Dot.

Fifty years ago, babies in the U.S. were three times more likely to die before reaching a first birthday. And the problems driving infant and maternal mortality were even worse in rural areas. Diane Cantor set out to be part of a change. She left college in the early 1970s to work for a federal program providing prenatal care to women in North Georgia. Her experiences inspired a novel called “When Nighttime Shadows Fall.” Diane Cantor lives in Savannah. We talk to her ahead of an appearance on January 30 at A Cappella Books in Atlanta.

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