Emilia Brock

On Second Thought Producer

Emilia Brock is a producer for GPB's program, "On Second Thought."

Emilia is a passionate storyteller and has experience in a number of creative fields, including journalism, photography, video and radio production, fiction writing and more.

She has held a variety of professional roles, ranging from arts and culture reporting to communications for Atlanta's Delta Air Lines. She was even, at one point, a street performer in Helsinki, Finland, writing stories and poems on demand.

Emilia got her start in journalism early on, writing for her local newspaper, “The Daily Breeze,” before even graduating high school. She went on to write a weekly column for that paper, recounting her experiences as a freshman at New York University. There, she double-majored in journalism and English & American literature, and minored in music, graduating cum laude.

Emilia is originally from Los Angeles, and while she will always have love for her former cities in the Avocado State and the Big Apple, she is thrilled to make her home here, now, in the Peach State.

Pria Mahadevan/GPB

While COVID-19 continues to dominate the news cycle, we thought our listeners would enjoy a break from coronavirus headlines.

Here’s the weekly roundup of some of our favorite segments that have nothing to do with the pandemic. As always, tell us what you think, and be sure to share your favorites! You can tag us on Twitter at @OSTTalk and join and comment in our Facebook group: “GPB Radio’s On Second Thought.”

Photo by Brock Scott

Georgians all over the state are finding ways to create activities at home, for themselves and for others.

Take Atlanta resident Eddie Farr, for example. For work, he builds props for escape rooms, and in his free time, he makes tech-based art. 


Working in the food service industry can be a tough gig, even without a pandemic. Many workers are uninsured and — like the restaurants employing them — have little financial cushion for weathering crises.

Since 2013, Giving Kitchen has helped bolster the industry by providing crisis grants, resources, and assistance to food service workers. But now, with restaurant closures and many folks out of work, more food industry employees find themselves in crisis than ever before — an insurmountable challenge for the small Atlanta-based nonprofit.


The uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic can be even more complex, or downright dangerous, for both victims and survivors of domestic abuse. We’ll learn about the specific challenges for this vulnerable population — and how these victims and survivors may even struggle to get their piece of the stimulus bill.

Georgia band Indigo Girls have built a diehard community of listeners through decades of songs that touch on the joys and pains of living in the world. They were among the first to stream a live concert when social distancing restrictions were first announced. On Second Thought checks in with this pair of Georgia music legends to hear about how they're experiencing this unprecedented moment.


Photo by Emilia Brock

A few weeks ago, screen time was blamed for keeping us apart. Now that millions of people are sequestered in our homes, our screens are bringing us together. Americans are finding new ways to find connection, community and relief from home.

Two Atlanta-based arts critics and writers, Jason Evans and Kelundra Smith, joined On Second Thought to share some reflections on the new age of streaming amid coronavirus, and recommendations of what to do for "quarantainment."


While online scams are always a danger, malware attacks and phishing schemes have found a new opportunity with coronavirus. Millions of Americans are now working and learning from home, without the protections — or IT help — found in most offices and schools. And in some countries, the virus has upped the ante on government surveillance of online activity. Alfred Ng, senior reporter at CNET News, and Brendan Saltaformaggio, assistant professor at Georgia Tech, talk about the concerns around data privacy and security that have developed alongside the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

 


John Minchillo / AP Photo

While online scams are always a danger, malware and phishing attacks have skyrocketed in the past two weeks. Many of these schemes have found new opportunities through the growing fear and concern over coronavirus. And now, millions of Americans are working and learning from home to help halt the spread of the disease — and find themselves without the protections (or IT help) found in most offices and schools. 

And in some countries, the virus has upped the ante on government surveillance of online activity. 


Collage by Emilia Brock

Social distancing has become the new normal. With borders closing, shelter-in-place orders in California, lockdowns in Europe, and the Trump administration's guidelines to limit gatherings, millions of Americans are shuttering indoors — and spending a lot of time in front of a screen.

And the memes have flourished.


As the United States tries to slow the spread of coronavirus, social distancing has become the new normal. Millions of Americans are shuttering indoors and spending more time behind screens — and the memes have flourished. Tweets, TikToks, and more viral content have picked up on major themes of the coronavirus pandemic, like the importance of washing your hands, the scarcity of hand sanitizer and toilet paper, and how boring quarantine can be. Dr. Andre Brock, Associate Professor at Georgia Tech studying digital culture, and Emma Grey Ellis, staff writer at Wired magazine who specializes in internet culture and propaganda, joined On Second Thought to talk about what online meme culture reveals about how we're processing anxiety during this unprecedented pandemic.

 

 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The coronavirus pandemic has led to travel restrictions, canceled events, school closures, consumer panic, and mayhem in stock markets across the world.

The spiraling fears and slow access to tests for the virus in the U.S. have exposed weak points in government and health care systems, as well as the social fabric upon which we rely — especially for the most vulnerable. 


Response to the coronavirus pandemic has led to travel restrictions, canceled music festivals, school closures, consumer panic for basic needs like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and mayhem in stock markets across the world. The spiraling fears and slow access to tests for the virus in the U.S. have exposed weak points in government and healthcare systems, as well as the social fabric upon which we rely — especially for those most vulnerable. Dr. Keren Landman, a doctor, epidemiologist, and journalist, and Dr. Carlos del Rio, Chair of the Department of Global Health at Emory University, discuss how inequities in these systems play into the risks and outcomes of a global pandemic.

 

 


With his books The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake, best-selling author Erik Larson established a gift for bringing historic events to life, in almost cinematic detail. And his latest book, The Splendid and the Vile, continues in that tradition. From early September of 1940 until the following May, German planes bombed London and other British cities almost nightly to devastating effect. The book adds dimension and behind-the-scenes details to how newly-named Prime Minister Winston Churchill modeled courage and leadership during the London Blitz. At the end of February, On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott interviewed Larson onstage at The Carter Presidential Library. We hear that conversation and learn how Churchill guided the U.K. through the conflict — and stirred Britons through proud resistance and resilience.

 


Associated Press

For decades, "race music" was the euphemism used for recordings by African American musicians. That didn't sit well for a young music journalist named Jerry Wexler, who coined the term "rhythm and blues" in 1949. The term stuck.

But it was as an executive and producer at Atlantic Records that Wexler changed American music. He introduced the masses to Ray Charles and Big Joe Turner, and honed the sound of Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. 


Karli Cadel

While not many operas were written in English, George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess is one of the most celebrated — and perhaps the most controversial. 

Although the production provided roles for African American performers during a time when minstrelsy was still prevalent, criticism of the opera's representation of black culture, life and dialect have followed Gershwin's piece, from 1935, for decades.


Alex Harris

A Nielsen report from 2018 shows that black women and men spend disproportionately more on beauty products than other demographic groups. And with Hair Love winning best animated short at this year’s Oscars, the conversation around black hair — and standards of beauty within the black community — continues to evolve. 

While the mainstream hair and beauty industry has not always been there to meet demand, black innovators and entrepreneurs have frequently taken it upon themselves to develop their own solutions. On Second Thought sat down with three people working to bring both awareness and new offerings to the cultural conversation on beauty standards in the black community.

 


While few operas were written in English, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess is one of the most celebrated — and perhaps the most controversial. Criticism of the opera's representation of black culture and dialect have followed the 1935 libretto for decades. As the Atlanta Opera prepares to present a production of Gershwin’s famous opera in early March, On Second Thought caught up with Morris Robinson, the singer playing Porgy in the upcoming production, and Dr. Naomi André, professor at the University of Michigan, to learn more about the classic music, story, and dilemmas presented by the Porgy and Bess.


Phil Fonville

The Equal Justice Initiative documents nearly 5,000 lynchings in America between 1877 and 1950, though the number is likely higher. The vast majority of those lynched were African American men. Many were hanged, shot and mutilated in public events advertised on the radio and in newspapers.

The documentary Always In Season looks at this history of racism and lynching in the U.S. and connects it to the racial climate and justice today. 


“All I have are my words,” shares Nikki Giovanni, a 77-year-old poet and professor at Virginia Tech. She has published nearly 30 collections of poetry, anthologies, children’s books and essays. During the 60s and 70s, she helped pioneer the Black Arts movement and she has been credited as an influence by hip-hop artists. On Saturday at 4 p.m., she is giving a free reading at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. Before her reading, she reflects on how she views her many accomplishments at her age. 

 

The documentary Always In Season gives an honest look into the history of racism and lynching in the United States and connects it to the racial climate and justice of the present. The film makes its television premiere on PBS’ Independent Lens on Monday, Feb. 24. Director Jacqueline Olive talks about her documentary and her engagement with the film — and discussions across racial lines — with viewers in communities across the country. 


Andy Buchanan

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 75th anniversary with special events throughout the season. Next week, Thomas Søndergård returns to Atlanta to conduct music by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.

Violinist Blake Pouliot will make his debut with the ASO, performing the "Violin Concerto." Sibelius' sixth and seventh symphonies are also on the program. And listeners can expect to hear his most famous piece: a tone poem called "Finlandia."


Visiting a cemetery on Valentine’s Day may seem like an unconventional way to share your love with your sweetheart. But with over 70,000 residents at Oakland Cemetery, there are a lot of love tales to unearth — which are the subject of a walking tour this weekend. Education Manager Marcy Breffle shared some of the most heartwarming love tales. 

Design by Jake Troyer

Maybe it's your aunt's gooey chocolate chip cookines, your dad's special wing sauce, or your grandmother's post-Thanksgiving turkey tetrazzini — family recipes often get handed down from generation to generation like cherished heirlooms.

One family has been updating (and sharing) its recipe book for nearly 90 years. Ever since Irma Rombauer first published Joy of Cooking in 1931, it has become the most popular cookbook in America, and a staple of home kitchens.


With news of the new coronavirus circulating around the world, there’s also been another viral threat: misinformation. TIME reporter Jasmine Aguilera and Dr. Marybeth Sexton, an assistant professor at the Division for Infectious Diseases at Emory University, discuss the rumors and misconceptions behind this new health epidemic.

 


Photo by James Patterson / Book Cover Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

On June 12, 1963, President John Kennedy delivered his report to the American people on civil rights. Hours after his nationally televised speech, NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers was shot in the driveway of his Jackson, Mississippi home. He was pronounced dead an hour later.

Accused killer Byron De La Beckwith was twice tried by all-white juries, which deadlocked. Nearly 30 years later, a reporter for Jackson's Clarion-Ledger newspaper unearthed documents and holes in the defense that led to re-trying and convicting the white supremacist behind Evers' killing.


Andre M / Wikimedia Commons

Georgia is one of four states without a hate crime law. In 2000, state legislators passed a law forbidding acts targeting victims due to "bias or prejudice," but the state Supreme Court struck it down four years later for being too vague.

Repeated efforts to bring a new hate crime law since have failed. Last year, a bill brought by Chuck Efstration, a Republican Representative from Dacula, passed in the Georgia House. It's now up for debate in the state Senate.


Georgia is one of four states that does not have a law specifying penalties for hate crimes. Last year, State Representative Chuck Efstration, a Republican from Dacula, introduced a new hate crimes bill. It passed in the Georgia House last March and, in 2020, it is up for debate in the state’s Senate. We spoke with a reporter from ProPublica, Rachel Glickhouse, who worked on the publication’s “Documenting Hate” series, to learn more about how these laws work and what this bill, if passed, could mean for Georgia’s legal landscape. 


Pitbulls: they’re the dog that “America loves to hate,” and Jason Flatt is devoted to saving them. We learn how tragedy and depression transformed Flatt, and how a puppy saved his life. Now, he spends his time saving the most neglected — and least wanted — dogs that come across his foundation, Friends to the Forlorn.


L-R: Robb Cohen; Amy Harris; Amy Harris; Paul R. Giunta / Invision/AP - Collage compiled by Jake Troyer

We're heading into the last week of January. Maybe you're still on a fresh start for the new year, and keeping up with your resolutions. But are your music playlists still cycling through last year's hits?

If that's the case, then you'll be glad to know that every month, Atlanta's Paste Magazine publishes a list of upcoming record releases to keep you up to date on fresh tunes. 


Courtesy of Will Brown / Kate DeCiccio for Amplifier / Courtesy of Donal Thornton and Tresor Dieudonné

As 2019 drew to a close, protests spilled into cities from Hong Kong to Santiago, Paris to Tehran, and Khartoum to La Paz. People around the world flocked to the streets, often with handmade signs, addressing their objections to policy changes, power grabs and cutbacks.

The power of images to communicate disagreement is the subject of an exhibition now on view at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). 


For the last five years, we’ve heard cries of “fake news” from media critics on both sides of the political aisle. This year, Emory University offered first-year students the opportunity to enroll in a course about fake news. It’s one of Emory’s “evidence-focused seminars” intended to prepare students for college-level research. We speak to Dr. Judith Miller, who teaches the course, and Natalia Thomas, one of the students who took the class last semester.


It made headlines when Queen Elizabeth II agreed to grant Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle their wish for a more independent life, allowing them to move part-time to Canada while remaining firmly in the House of Windsor. We speak with Emory history professor Dr. Patrick Allit and CNN senior writer Lisa Respers France to analyze the historical context and current implications of their move to this side of the pond.


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