Virginia Prescott

Host - On Second Thought

Virginia Prescott is the Gracie Award-winning host of On Second Thought for Georgia Public Broadcasting. Before joining GPB, she was host of Word of Mouth, Writers on A New England Stage and the I-Tunes Top Ten Podcasts Civics 101 and The 10-Minute Writers Workshop on New Hampshire Public Radio. Prior to joining NHPR, she was editor, producer, and director on NPR programs On Point and Here & Now, and Director of Interactive media for New York Public Radio.

Throughout her radio career, Virginia has worked to build sustainable independent radio in the developing world and has trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the Balkans. She was a member of the Peabody Award-winning production team for Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley and the recipient of a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University.

Virginia loves working as a radio and podcast host, but regrets that so many good outfits go unnoticed.

CNN

The late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain changed the way a lot of people think and write about food. He traveled the world for his CNN show, Parts Unknown. From Nairobi to Atlanta, he brought us along for the ride. Bourdain took his life in June. On Sunday night, CNN debuted the final season of Parts Unknown. We look back on Bourdain’s legacy in the culinary world. 

GPB

The federal Farm Bill making its way through Congress could dramatically reduce the availability of free school meals. Those meals offer significant help for the nearly 20 percent of Georgia households with children that struggle to afford quality food for their families, according to the Food Research and Action Center. So many students qualify for the free meal program in Macon's Bibb County School District that free breakfast and lunch are available district-wide. To put that in perspective, the district served 18,000 lunches last year alone. 

"Hometown Georgia" / GPB

Augusta may be best known for the Masters Tournament, but this Georgia city has more than one claim to fame. For starters, "Godfather of Soul" James Brown grew up in Augusta. More recently, the city has made a name for itself as a national hub for cybersecurity. Sharon Collins took her GPB television series "Hometown Georgia" to Augusta to learn more about the city and joined "On Second Thought" with some of the stories she brought back.


Courtesy of Beau Cabell / The Telegraph

The federal Farm Bill making its way through Congress could dramatically reduce the availability of free school meals. Those meals offer significant help for the nearly 20 percent of Georgia households with children that struggle to afford quality food for their families, according to the Food Research and Action Center. So many students qualify for the free meal program in Macon's Bibb County School District that free breakfast and lunch are available district-wide. To put that in perspective, the district served 18,000 lunches last year alone.


GPB

The Fair Housing Act is 50 years old this year. Former President Lyndon Johnson implemented this landmark piece of civil rights legislation days after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. King often said housing was a key victory in the struggle for African-American equity in the United States. 


Leighton Rowell / GPB

Fifty years after the Fair Housing Act, we took a look at the state of fair housing and affordable housing in Georgia today.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

During the 1930s, Macon, Georgia was the nation's most redlined city. That term was not used until much later, but the practice -- denying mortgage loans or municipal services that effectively drew a line around areas based on race or income -- was common. Redlining is now illegal, but as GPB's Grant Blankenship reported in 2016, finding affordable housing in Macon -- and many of Georgia's growing cities -- is tough.


Ross Terrell / GPB News

The Fair Housing Act is 50 years old this year. Former President Lyndon Johnson implemented this landmark piece of civil rights legislation days after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. King often said housing was a key victory in the struggle for African-American equity in the United States.

We spoke with Dan Immergluck, a professor in the Urban Studies Institute at Georgia State University. He discussed how legislation from 50 years ago shaped how housing in Georgia functions today.


GPB

On today's "On Second Thought," we revisited a few of the conversations that have lingered in our minds this week. Jonathan Merritt told us why he stopped having conversations about faith after leaving Georgia behind for New York, and how he is reconceptualizing religious language for a new era. We also heard from filmmaker Stefan Forbes about Lee Atwater and the Southern strategy. On Second Thought's Virginia Prescott also took the show on the road to Athens, Georgia, where she snacked on edible insects with University of Georgia entomologist Marianne Shockley. Need a palate cleanser after that? Virginia visited Atlanta-based Chef Todd Richards for a BLT breakfast sandwich with collard greens. 


Clarkston The Film / Facebook

Chris Buckley served in Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming an Imperial Nighthawk of the Northern Georgia Ku Klux Klan. He said he turned to drug addiction and a hate group when he returned home from overseas. His wife, Melissa, wanted him to leave the KKK. She did some researching and looked for ways to help her husband turn his life around. That's when she met former neo-Nazi skinhead, Arno Michaelis. 

GPB

Five years ago, Jonathan Merritt moved from Buford to Brooklyn, New York. Almost immediately, Merritt found he couldn't communicate with the people around him. It was not that they spoke a different language, but rather that Southern Baptist preacher's son — and Emory-educated Master of Divinity — felt unable to have the conversations about faith and spirituality that he had always had in his hometown. Merritt set out to find out if other people in the United States were avoiding conversations about religion. 


LaRaven Taylor

Millennials aren't as religious as generations before them. That's according to a report from the Pew Research Center. The study found 35 percent of Americans born between 1981 and 1996 are religiously unaffiliated. We gathered a group of church leaders to explain how they engage with young people. 

Boston Public Library / Flickr

In an episode of "Meet the Press" in April 1960, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said he thought it was one of the most "shameful tragedies of our nation that 11 o'clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours in Christian America."

Nearly 60 years later, a pair of church leaders in Macon observed that not much had changed. The New Georgia Encyclopedia states Macon is home to more churches than any other city in the American South.

GPB recorded a conversation between Rev. Dr. Jake Hall of Highland Hills Baptist Church and Rev. Dominique Johnson of Kingdom Life, Inc. for the series "Macon Conversations." In this excerpt, they discussed finding common ground between white people and people of color in their congregations.


Courtesy Anthony Batista

Five years ago, Jonathan Merritt moved from Buford to Brooklyn, New York. Almost immediately, Merritt found he couldn't communicate with the people around him. It was not that they spoke a different language, but rather that Southern Baptist preacher's son — and Emory-educated Master of Divinity — felt unable to have the conversations about faith and spirituality that he had always had in his hometown. Merritt set out to find out if other people in the United States were avoiding conversations about religion. In a survey of 1,000 people, he found that 1 in 5 had not had a conversation about religion in the last year. 


GPB

Today, "On Second Thought" took a scan of the state.

We spoke with NPR political reporter Asma Khalid about low voter turnout, and heard from some of the Georgians she met in Houston, Cobb and Hancock counties.

GPB's own Emily Jones also joined from Savannah with a story about alligators in the Okefenokee swamp, and "On Second Thought" host Virginia Prescott munched on some edible bugs with University of Georgia entomologist Marianne Shockley.

We also caught up with John T. Edge of the Southern Foodways Alliance. His new series, "TrueSouth," debuts on SEC Network tonight. Chef Todd Richards also told us about his favorite Southern ingredient: collard greens. 

Sean Powers / GPB

We launched a new "On Second Thought" series on Tuesday called “Main Ingredient” in which a chef tells us about his or her essential Southern ingredient. Host Virginia Prescott heads into the kitchen with Atlanta-based chef and cookbook author, Todd Richards. He shares with us his love for collard greens.

"Bacon, Collard and Fried Egg Sandwich" by Todd Richards

SEC Network / Bluefoot Entertainment

Football and food are two mighty markers of Southern identity. The two intersect Tuesday night when John T. Edge and Wright Thompson's new series "TrueSouth," an exploration of Southern food and culture, debuts on SEC Network. In the first episode, Edge, who directs the Southern Foodways Alliance, goes to Birmingham, Alabama, where he meets generations of Greek-Americans who transformed their community. 


EatingInsectsAthens.com

A bug in your food is not usually considered a good thing, but what if it was there on purpose?

The United Nations reports around two billion people include insects in their daily diet. Companies like Chirp Chips and Chapul are making bugs a snacking option in the United States. In Georgia, mealworms and crickets top the list of commonly consumed insects.

We spoke with entomologist Marianne Shockley who researches edible insects at the University of Georgia.


Paul Sableman / Flickr

With American politics more polarized than ever, most Americans have at least one thing in common going into midterms: they tend to stay home on Election Day. In fact, as NPR political reporter Asma Khalid has found, midterm elections have not drawn a majority of voters to the polls since the early 1900s. She set out to find out why.


GPB

Is Georgia turning blue? That question came up in 2014 when Jason Carter ran for governor, in 2016 when Hillary Clinton ran for president and in 2017 with Jon Ossoff’s campaign in the most expensive House race in history. Every time, however, Georgia remained a red state where Republicans won. 


Grant Blankenship/GPB

Changing voter demographics and the national rise of female candidates have led to speculation that Georgia will turn blue in the November elections. We’re exploring the likelihood of this shift as well as Georgia’s role in the upcoming national elections in 2020.


Facebook

As we near this year’s November election, there’s one recurring question: Will Georgia become a blue state? Before we look at the political future of the state, we did some research on the past.

Wikimedia Commons

Is Georgia turning blue? That question came up in 2014 when Jason Carter ran for governor, in 2016 when Hillary Clinton ran for president and in 2017 with Jon Ossoff’s campaign in the most expensive House race in history. Every time, however, Georgia remained a red state where Republicans won.


On this edition of "Two Way Street," Georgia musician Adron stops by to talk and play a few songs from her new album "Water Music" before setting sail for the west coast. We also hear from a woman who made a career of saying goodbye: Kay Powell. 


Maupin photo by Christopher Turner

On this episode of Two Way Street, we hear from two Southern writers from the Decatur Book Festival.

In front of an audience at the festival, new host Virginia Prescott interviews authors Rick Bragg and Armistead Maupin on the way their Southern heritage shapes their writing.
 


GPB

Efrain de la Rosa, a 40-year-old detainee at ICE’s Stewart detention center in Lumpkin, was found dead in his cell last Tuesday.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the preliminary cause of death was self-inflicted strangulation.  The case remains under investigation.


Jason Hales / Juel Concepts

The Atlanta, retro-styled soul band Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics stepped into our studios for a mini concert and an interview. Raised by east Indian parents in Canada, Ruby has many inspirations to thank for her classic sound (with a twist). She taps into the classic tunes of Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Curtis Mayfield to unlease her powerful vocals.


(AP Photo/Kate Brumback, File)

Efrain de la Rosa, a 40-year-old detainee at ICE’s Stewart detention center in Lumpkin, was found dead in his cell last Tuesday.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the preliminary cause of death was self-inflicted strangulation.  The case remains under investigation.

 


Vox

Amy Sherald, the artist who painted the lovely portrait of Michelle Obama, was influenced by Piet Mondrian's geometric paintings and the quilts stiched by the Gee's Bend ladies. The ladies are from a tiny peninsula in Wilcox County, Alabama. The generations of women descend from slaves and live mostly in isolation. From discarded clothes like worn jeans and corduroy pants, they create vibrant geometric shapes stitched into quilts.  


(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool, File)

It’s Mandela Day!  Each year on July 18, the life, work and memory of Nelson Mandela is honored. On this day, there is a global call to do 67 minutes of service in memory of Mandela’s 67-year battle for social justice. Today would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday.


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