entertainment

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."


Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards were announced Monday. The list, which skews heavily white and male, has faced fierce criticism in the last few days.

The discussion is all too familiar for many, resurrecting conversations about #OscarsSoWhite and the lack of representation for both women and people of color in the esteemed awards.


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. 


AP Images/John Bazemore

This fall, Georgia State College of Law University is offering "The Legal Life of Ludacris" — a course examining the strategic legal decisions and contracts that supported his career as a rapper, actor, philanthropist and restaurateur. 

It's the brainchild of GSU entertainment law professor, Moraima "Mo" Ivory, who's the head of the school's "Entertainment, Sports and Media Law Initiative." Ivory spoke with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about the now full class. 


COURTESY KYANNA SIMONE SIMPSON

Kyanna Simone Simpson shows no signs of stopping.

The Decatur native and University of Georgia student's first Netflix series, Chambers, was released earlier this year. Her new film Ma, with Octavia Spencer, hit theaters this summer. And Oprah Winfrey told Vanity Fair she'd pick Simpson to portray her in a biopic. 

Simpson's previous credits include The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, in which she acted alongside Winfrey as the younger version of Winfrey's character, Deborah Lacks. She's also appeared as Keisha in the CW's Black Lightning.


Courtesy Kyanna Simone Simpson

Kyanna Simone Simpson shows no signs of stopping. The Decatur native and University of Georgia student's first Netflix series, Chambers, was just released. Her new film Ma, with Octavia Spencer, hits theaters May 31. And Oprah Winfrey told Vanity Fair she'd pick Simpson to portray her in a biopic. 

Simpson's previous credits include The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, in which she acted alongside Winfrey as the younger version of Winfrey's character, Deborah Lacks. She's also appeared as Keisha in the CW's Black Lightning.


Courtesy YouTube

Jackie K. Cooper is a retiree who's practiced law, served in the U.S. Air Force and written seven books. The 77-year-old can now add another title to his enviable resume: YouTube sensation. Cooper has reviewed movies, books and television shows on his YouTube page for the past 12 years.

He joined On Second Thought on the line from Perry, Georgia, to explain how he went from 136 to 150,000 subscribers in less than one month on YouTube. 


Andre M / Wikimedia Commons

Georgia has been a major player in the music industry. Atlanta especially is a mecca for rap, hip-hop and R&B. Notable artists come here to record, and Georgia has been home to a number of famous names, including Ray Charles, Arrested Development, T.I., Ludacris and heavy metal band Mastodon.

 

Now, state legislators are working to make Georgia an even bigger hub for music and entertainment. Recently, Georgia Rep. Erica Thomas announced plans to co-chair a newly created Georgia Entertainment Caucus. She joined "On Second Thought," along with Grammy Award-winning music producer and engineer Matt Still, to discuss the caucus' potential impact.

 

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A foreign accent can invite intrigue, conversations and stereotypes. One Atlanta group wants to debunk the stigma for immigrants. "Accents" is a web sitcom featuring six actors from different backgrounds.