La'Raven Taylor

Digital Content Producer

La'Raven was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, so she’s no stranger to the South. La'Raven developed a passion for storytelling at a very young age. She became a features editor on her high school’s newspaper staff and an anchor on the school’s station. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in Mass Communications/Broadcast Journalism. She started working as an associate producer for WLBT in Jackson, MS. There, she worked her way up to become a senior producer. She also did some reporting. La'Raven is a member of NABJ and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She loves reading, traveling and spending time with her family. She lives by the quote: “I think, therefore I am” by Descartes.

Random House Children's Books

Atlanta native Nic Stone has not shied away from racism, belonging and the weight of history in her novels for young adults. The New York Times best-selling author pulls those themes together in her debut novel for middle-grade readers. The book is called Clean Getaway, and hits store shelves Jan. 7. 

11-year-old William "Scoob" Lamar spends his spring break crossing the deep South in a Winnebago with his eccentric grandmother. He's escaping punishment for fighting at school — and soon realizes that "G'ma" is also on the run for something he doesn't quite understand. 

Atlanta-based author Nic Stone’s debut middle-grade novel, Clean Getaway, follows the story of a young boy embarking on a road trip with his grandmother. Hear how Stone balanced writing for middle-grade readers while still exploring complex topics.

When Refuge Coffee Co. founder Kitti Murray and her husband moved to Clarkston, Georgia, they never expected they’d be running a coffee shop to help refugees find their footing. Yet, that’s exactly what they do today. Hear from Kitti Murray and a former Refuge Coffee trainee on the impact of the cafe on the community.

Bexx Chin

The season of holiday cheer and giving can be especially difficult for people going through loss, illness or other challenges that come with being human. 

Atlanta-based poet, author and playwright Jon Goode is a close observer of how people make their way through the world. You may have seen him on HBO's Def Comedy Jam or CNN's Black in America. He's also host of the StorySLAM events at The Moth in Atlanta. 

This Christmas, Atlanta’s Fox Theatre celebrates its 90th birthday.  The “Fabulous Fox,” as it’s known, has fought its way back from extinction numerous times. Hear from Fox Theatre President and CEO Allan Vella about the dramatic twists and turns of this iconic building’s history.

A 2011 essay in Garden & Gun magazine called “Redefining the Southern Belle” got lots of responses; much of the feedback was positive, some not, but it all opened explorations of what “Southern woman” meant then and now. The discussions that followed led to a new book of portraits and interviews with artists, innovators and entertainers — from Reese Witherspoon to Oprah, Dolly Parton to Beyoncé, along with several names you may not know yet.

We hear more about the new book from Garden & Gun, called Southern Women: More Than 100 Stories of Innovators, Artists and Icons, from Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Euneika Roger-Sipp, two women featured in the magazine and its deputy editor, Amanda Heckert.

Garden & Gun

"Southern women  ⁠— unlike women from Boston, Des Moines or Albuquerque , are leashed to history."  Editor Alison Glock wrote those words in a 2011 essay for Garden & Gun.

The piece, titled "Redefining the Southern Belle" got more responses than anything she'd written in her nearly 30-year career. Much was positive, some not, but all opening up further exploration of what a "Southern woman" meant then and now. 

Jake Troyer

The start of a new decade is often viewed as a beginning of a new chapter. Before that page turns, On Second Thought looked at some of the benchmark changes over the past decade - both within Georgia, and across the world. 

Nicole Smith, features editor at the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Thomas Wheatley, articles editor at Atlanta Magazine, joined On Second Thought to talk about some of the biggest developments in Georgia over the past 10 years, from the burgeoning film industry in Atlanta to politics throughout the state.

While the holiday season may be a popular time for couples to impulsively “pop the question,” those couples generally do not think about the possibility of divorce. Family law attorney Randy Kessler joins On Second Thought to talk about why couples should consider a prenup. 

One Lawrenceville author turns real folk stories into fictional novels. Hear from author Tim Westover about his new book The Winter Sisters and how he draws upon local Southern folklore to craft his historical fiction stories. 

When Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics, terror struck. In the rush for justice, the wrong man was presumed guilty. “Mistaken: The Real Story of Richard Jewell” follows Jewell’s descent from hero to villain in the court of public opinion. Hear this On Second Thought special broadcast featuring interviews with Kent Alexander, U.S. Attorney for the northern district of Georgia at the time of the 1996 Olympics, journalist, Kevin Salwen and Tom Johnson, former head of CNN.

Atlanta Judge Christopher Portis recently launched a court program to help homeless defendats in Atlanta. Hear how the new initiative aims to help people get off the streets and navigate the court system.

Jaxon Photo Group

Nearly 1.6 million Americans will likely spend the holidays in a homeless shelter or some form of transitional housing.

A study by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty found laws criminalizing homeless people have multiplied in the last decade. Other studies find charges and prosecutions of the homeless does nothing to address its root causes. 

Comedian Judah Friedlander is probably best known for his role as Frank Rossitano on NBC’s 30 Rock, but his new stand-up series Judah Friedlander: Future President takes a satirical look at America and its complicated place on the world stage. He performed in Atlanta a few weeks ago and joins On Second Thought to share his approach to stand-up.

It seemed like winter came early this year with record low temperatures dipping below the 20s. As the cold weather continues, cozy up with a blanket, warm cup of tea and a book.

On Second Thought is joined by three of Georgia’s booksellers, Janet Geddis owner of Avid Bookshop in Athens, Annie Jones owner of The Bookshelf in Thomasville and Charles Robinson co-owner of Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta. They help choose which books to crack open this holiday season.

The impeachment proceedings continue in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.  Today, On Second Thought gets the perspective of two Georgia experts pertaining to the possible effects of the hearing. Author, lawyer and Pro Hac Judge to the City of Atlanta Municipal Court, Parag Shah, clarifies hearsay and its admission during the hearings. 

Dee Dee Hibbler-Murray says her current job as entertainment consultant for the DeKalb County government is an "old music lady's dream come true."

Every job she's had — from selling music at Turtles Records and Tape, to managing an upstart band called OutKast, to running T.I.'s K.I.N.G. Foundation — has materialized in part by envisioning what she wants by showing up, making that phone call, sending that follow-up note and taking risks. 

Dee Dee Hibbler now consults for the Dekalb County film commission after being an instrumental figure in establishing Atlanta as the hip-hop capital of the south. Hibbler is also known as “Peaches” most commonly associated with Outkast and Dungeon Family fame. She joins On Second Thought to talk about her work with some of the most notable names in hip-hop. 

Georgia’s foster care system is in crisis with the number of kids in state custody rising significantly. To getter a better understanding of the strain on the system, On Second Thought spoke with Samantha Max, former health reporter for The Telegraph in Macon and current reporter for Nashville Public Radio. Also joining the conversation is foster parent and founder of Never Too Late group home, Dr. John DeGarmo.

Gnats don’t read maps, but the bugs do seem hesitant to cross an unseen, geographic boundary in Georgia. Learn about the disparities north and south of the "gnat line" from Tales from the Gnat Line author and longtime state lawmaker Larry Walker.

New data from the Associated Press reveal more than a thousand failing dams in the U.S. that could have catastrophic consequences if they gave out. Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Grant Blankenship analyzed the information and learned Georgia is one of the most at-risk states. Find out which dams could cause the most damage for surrounding communities.

(L) Flickr (R) NBC Universal

Ten Democratic presidential candidates will take to the debate stage at Tyler Perry studios in Atlanta Wednesday night. The candidates will answer questions from a panel of four women journalists. 

While that may sound historic, it’s the third time in U.S. history where the moderators are all women, but it is the first time in this election cycle.

GPB/Taylor Gantt

Dorothy Butler Gilliam was the first African American woman reporter hired at The Washington Post in 1961. She was only 23 years old and her work was cut out for her as she lived through and wrote about the civil rights and women's movements — two pivotal moments in American history. 

Gilliam has since worked to make newsrooms across the country more diverse. 

GPB/La'Raven Taylor

Karen Head is executive director of the communication center at Georgia Institute of Technology. She's also the Waffle House Poet Laureate. The designation came after a Waffle House fouondation-funded poetry tour project for under-served Georgia high school students.

Head's newest collection of poem is called Lost on Purpose. She stopped by On Second Thought to share her recommendations for the "Southern Reading List." For the series, we invite authors and readers to talk about books that define and reflect the South. 

Dr. Vonda Wright spreads the word on the potential for injury in esports. Learn the similarities between traditional and digital sports, and how Dr. Wright teaches young players how to participate safely.

Health and Human Services Chair Sharon Cooper says she will introduce legislation to improve staffing and oversight of senior care facilities after an explosive investigation from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Hear our conversation with Carrie Teegardin, one of the reporters behind the story.

Governor Kemp recently announced his proposals for Medicaid waivers for the state. To help breakdown what the proposals could mean for your pocketbook, On Second Thought was joined by Andy Miller from Georgia Health News and Ariel Hart from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

AP Images/Bebeto Matthews

Georgia is among the top 11 states when it comes to most prescription opioid overdose deaths. President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in 2017.

Earlier this year, state agencies received $10.3 million in federal funding to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction and overdose. While federal funding could make a dent in adult dependency, Sesame Street aims to support children affected by parental addiction.

David Goldman / AP Images

The overwhelming majority of African American voters in Georgia — and the rest of the U.S. — are Democrats. About 93% of African Americans voted for Stacey Abrams in the last gubernatorial election, according to exit polls.

It's a powerful, dependable voting bloc on the left that has so far drowned out black conservatives, a slim minority of voters. The Pew Research Center says only about 8% of black voters identify as Republicans.

President Trump comes to Georgia this week. On Second Thought speaks to organizers and members of the black GOP about their efforts in recruiting other black voters. Kaaryn Walker from the Black Conservatives for Truth and Leo Smith from the Minority Engagement Specialist for the GOP join the show.

A case study of three metro Atlanta cities looked into the increase of tickets and fees to bolster municipal revenue - or what The Institute for Justice calls “taxation by citation.”  On Second Thought learns more from Senior Research Analyst Jennifer McDonald.