La'Raven Taylor

On Second Thought 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 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.

The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra

The Atlanta Jazz Festival gets underway this weekend. The annual event is one of the country's largest free jazz festivals. Among the featured is Atlanta-based band, The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra. Trumeter Russell Gunn leads the group. 

He stopped by On Second Thought to talk about the band's latest album, Get It How You Live and the group's natural mashup of traditional jazz, rhythm and blues and southern hip-hop. 


Alchemy Sky Foundation

State officials say more than 100,000 service members from Georgia were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2012. Nationally, about 20 percent of veterans coming back from those conflicts have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

Alchemy Sky Foundation is an Atlanta organization that helps people heal through music. It recently worked with a group of metro Atlanta veterans to create a song called "Adjust Fire."

 


The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra

The Atlanta Jazz Festival gets underway this weekend. The annual event is one of the country's largest free jazz festivals. Among the featured is Atlanta-based band, The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra. Trumeter Russell Gunn leads the group. 

He stopped by On Second Thought to talk about the band's latest album, Get It How You Live and the group's natural mashup of traditional jazz, rhythm and blues and southern hip-hop. 


A'Lelia Bundles

Madam C.J. Walker died 100 years ago this month.

In the early 20th century, she cemented her legacy by creating a hair salve designed for African American women. Her contributions to black beauty products are still felt in Georgia and across the country. 

GPB's Morning Edition host Leah Fleming spoke with Walker's great-granddaughter, A'lelia Bundles. Bundles is also a black hair and journalist. 


State officials say more than 100,000 service members from Georgia were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2012. Nationally, about 20% of veterans coming back from those conflicts have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

The Atlanta organization Alchemy Sky Foundation helps people heal through music. It recently worked with a group of metro Atlanta veterans to create a song called "Adjust Fire." Jaye Budd, a musician and founder of Alchemy Sky Foundation, and Marcus McCreaery, an Army veteran with the project, joined On Second Thought to share details about the experience. 


Writer Steve Oney has been writing for more than four decades for publications such as Esquire, Time, GQ and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over the course of his career, he estimates that he’s written somewhere between 150 and 200 profiles, 20 of which are included in A Man’s World, a collection of essays now out in paperback. 

All the profiles in A Man’s World explore a common theme: how and what it means to be a man. These have always been pressing questions for Oney, who told GPB Political Rewind host Bill Nigut that his father never fully equipped him for manhood. And so Oney looked toward his subjects for lessons in masculinity. He shared those lessons with us, including what he learned about being a man from actor Harrison Ford and Atlanta architect John Portman.


KANDACE SPRINGS / Twitter

Kandace Springs covers several genres on her latest album Indigo.

The Nashville native was born into a musical household. Her father Scat Springs was a soul singer who sang backup for Brian McKnight, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin and Donna Summer. 


Georgia was once a leader in the oyster canning business, but the last cannery closed in the 1960s.

In the past few years, however, a group of people have helped revive the Georgia oyster — through farming. 

André Gallant, author of A High Low Tide: The Revival of a Southern Oysterjoined us with more on the past, present and future of Georgia's oyster industry.

Bryan Rackely, co-owner of Kimball House — a Decatur restaurant where Georgia oysters are now on the menu —  also joined the conversation about these briny bivalves. 


Georgia’s high school graduation rate has increased over the past several years. For the third year in a row, the state’s graduation rate is above 80%. That’s according to the Georgia Department of Education.


NICK WASS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Atlanta's professional women's basketball team, the Atlanta Dream, is preparing for the upcoming season. It had a successful run last year and made it to the WNBA finals with Head coach Nicki Collen at the helm. She's been in the top spot since 2017. 

Collen stopped by On Second Thought to discuss her start playing tennis, her passion for the sport and her dreams of bringing a championship to Atlanta.


Atlanta's professional women's basketball team, the Atlanta Dream, is preparing for the upcoming season. It had a successful run last year and made it to the WNBA finals with head coach Nicki Collen at the helm. She's been in the top spot since 2017.

She stopped by On Second Thought to discuss her start playing tennis, her passion for sports and her dreams of bringing a championship to Atlanta.


Arcade Publishing

Members of Congress are working to revive an Obama-era effort to make Harriet Tubman the new face of the $20 bill. A new historical novel about Tubman gives reader a whole new face and consideration of the woman known as the "Moses of her people." 


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. College students today increasingly report being affected by depression and anxiety. Barry Schreier, director of the University Counseling Service at the University of Iowa and communications committee chair for the Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors, joined On Second Thought to explain the national scope of this problem and told us why exactly students are more stressed, depressed and anxious now than ever before.


Rob Carr / AP

Tens of millions of readers got their first glimpse inside of a courtroom from To Kill a Mockingbird. Now, Harper Lee's 1960 novel remains a staple on middle school reading lists, and the film adaptation has captivated countless social justice warriors, law students, parents and pet owners.


A number of curious laws are still on the books in Georgia. We cribbed a few from idiotlaws.com, if that tells you anything. But as obscure – and seemingly silly – as they are, the law is the law. Georgia State University law professor Tanya Washington joined us with an explanation of how laws get made, and how hard they are to change.


Sunday was Gov. Brian Kemp's last day to sign or veto legislation. GPB politics reporter Stephen Fowler joined On Second Thought to explain which bills are now law. Fowler also debriefed us on the U.S. House vote on relief funds for farmers and others recovering from natural disasters.


Former first lady Michelle Obama makes a surprise visit to Spelman College in Atlanta on Saturday, May 11.
Robert Jimison / GPB

Former first lady Michelle Obama made a surprise visit to Spelman College ahead of a book tour event in Atlanta for her autobiography, "Becoming."

Health care is the number one cause of personal bankruptcies in the U.S., and medical spending makes up more than 17% percent of the nation’s economy. In other words: going to the doctor can be darned expensive — especially in Georgia. Hear why prices here can be higher and can vary significantly, even in the same city.

 

 


Hope Givers Festival / Twitter

The U.S. Mental Health Care System is a multi-billion dollar industry, yet countless people living with or affected by mental illness fall through the cracks.

Georgia ranks 47th out of 50 for access to mental health care, resources and insurance coverage making it even tougher to live with disorders most data and experts find to be under-researched, undertreated and over-stigmatized.

Growing up in Atlanta in the 1970s, Jonathan Weisman didn't think much about anti-Semitism. In fact, he didn't think much about being Jewish until 2016. That's when, as deputy editor of the Washington Bureau of The New York Times, he posted a quote from an op-ed about facism on Twitter. That tweet unleashed a torrent of anti-Semitic images, threats and other forms of cyber-stalking that shattered his complacency.


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.


La'Raven Taylor

In the American South, there are state borders, variations in topography and accents. There's also the gnat line. That's the fall line where the piedmont meets the coastal plain. It's actually the sandy soil south of the line where gnats or pesky little critters live out their short lives, but they also have a penchant for flying into noses and eyes.


Courtesy of Happy Fish Productions

Professional wrestling boomed when cable hit in the late '70s and early '80s. Shows like Georgia Championship Wrestling and Mid-South Wrestling planted dreams of glory in the heads and hearts of muscular southern boys. Ted "The Million Dollar Man" DiBiase, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Billy "Superstar" Graham all had important matches in Georgia. They are among dozens of stars who took hits outside the ring. 

The documentary film 350 Days looks into the hard knock lives of professional wrestlers in what's known as the golden age of wrestling.


Even if you can't put your finger on it, Takénobu's music might sound familiar to you. That's because the "cinematic folk" from the classically trained Atlanta locals are frequently used on NPR shows and in video or film, including the new documentary 42 Grams.

Takénobu takes its name from cellist Nick Ogawa, who performs with his violinist (and fiancée) Kathryn Koch. The two have a new album called Conclusion coming out on May 24, and an upcoming tour with Kishi Bashi. But before they gear up for a big 2019, they joined On Second Thought to share their story.


Hate incidents are on the rise in American schools, according to a new report from the Teaching Tolerance project at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello joined On Second Thought on the line from Montgomery, Alabama, to discuss the report's findings.


Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Ernest Matthew Mickler's White Trash Cooking was released in 1986 to mixed reviews. Some of the recipes in the cookbook include "Uncle Willie's Swamp Cabbage Stew," "Rabbit Pie" and "Broiled Squirrel." Critics wondered if the book was for shock value or if it was just another elitist dig at poor southerners.  

Michael Adno's profile of Mickler portrays a man who took pride in his disappearing southern heritage and in the food served by his Florida relatives and neighbors —the same people he felt rejected by as a gay man.


You may have heard Curtis Harding's voice before, perhaps without realizing it. That's because, for a number of years, he worked with a familiar Atlanta native: CeeLo Green. Harding sang back-up vocals for CeeLo and even co-wrote songs with the Grammy Award-winning musician, like "Grand Canyon" — which was a bonus track on CeeLo's 2010 album, The Lady Killer

After that and several other collaborations, Harding launched his solo career, applying his distinctive falsetto vocals to his own style of music, which he calls "slop 'n' soul."

 


For The Culture: Unpacking Beyoncé's 'Homecoming'

May 3, 2019
Credit: Frank Micelotta/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment / AP Images

Beyoncé's bleacher-thundering, exquisitely choreographed performances at the Coachella Music Festival in 2018 showed a performer at the top of her game. Queen Bey managed to stop the world again with the realease of Homecoming, a live double album and Netflix documentary about what it took to put those two successive weekend productions together. 

Homecoming has been dissected and analyzed in several ways, but On Second Thought wanted to get deeper perspectives and who better to navigate those nuances than Christine White and Danene Millner? They're co-hosts of GPB-TV's A Seat At The Table.


Over his 19-year career with the Navy SEALs, Special Operations Chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher earned high honors for valor and leadership as a medic, sniper and explosives expert. But less than a year after Gallagher returned from his eighth deployment – fighting the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq – he drew a different kind of attention from the Navy: he was charged with war crimes, among them premeditated murder. Gallagher's case goes to trial in May. He and his family have denied all charges.

When New York Times national correspondent Dave Philipps began reporting on Gallagher's case, he thought he might learn that Gallagher had suffered some kind of psychotic break as the result of numerous combat deployments over the course of nearly two decades. But what Philipps has found, through interviews and hundreds of pages of internal military documents, defied expectations. Joining on the line from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Philipps told On Second Thought that Gallagher's case reveals a Navy SEAL culture "split between loyalty and justice." 

 


Jae C. Hong / AP Images

Georgia is home to hundreds of thousands of military veterans. The state also boasts tens of thousands of active duty and reserve personnel. Sometimes, those numbers come with four letters: PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

On Second Thought continued a conversation with New York Times reporter David Philipps about his investigative research on Navy Seals and war crimes. Liza Zwiebach also joined the conversation with her clinical expertise. 


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