On Second Thought for Monday, February 19, 2018

Feb 19, 2018

Last week’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida was followed by scenes we have seen all too often. In 2013, a similar scene played out at Decatur’s Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy. Thankfully, no one was killed. A short film based on that incident is nominated for an Academy Award. We talked with the film’s writer and director, Reed Van Dyk.

For more than a hundred years, America’s historically black colleges and universities have graduated many of our most dynamic and influential citizens. However, some educators worry a quarter of those schools could be gone within the next 20 years. A new PBS documentary airing Monday night explores the complex history of HBCUs. It’s called “Tell Them We are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities.” We caught up with filmmaker Stanley Nelson.

In many ways, the battle for school desegregation might not have been possible without the support of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice. This month, Atlanta grade schoolers witnessed Marshall’s life play out before their eyes. Actor John Doyle portrayed Marshall in a one-man show at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum and Library. On Second Thought interns Emmanuel Johnson and Reid Williams brought back an audio postcard from the performance.

We look back at the career of Clarence Thomas, a federal judge from Savannah, who replaced Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court. Georgia State University law professor Tanya Washington and Albany Law School professor Stephen Gottlieb joined us for that conversation.