john portman

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.


In 1832, playwright and peformer Thomas Dartmouth Rice used theatrical make-up to create a supposedly black character. The character's name was Jim Crow. That name later came to represent a system of extra-judicial terror and racial segregation laws that ended in 1965, but the recent political crisis in Virginia shows dressing up in blackface did not.

A poll published by "The Washington Post" has Virginians split over whether Gov. Ralph Northam should resign after a photo from his 1984 Medical School yearbook surfaced. It shows a character in blackface next to a person wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood. Last week, a Pew Research Center poll found about 34 percent of all Americans say, "Dressing up in blackface is always or sometimes acceptable for a Halloween costume." 

 


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Without Atlanta legend John Portman, you might never walk into a hotel lobby with a cavernous atrium, an office tower with stacked balconies or a shopping center with transparent elevators whizzing up and down.

Portman revolutionized architecture, turning buildings inward to jaw-dropping effect. To quote his close friend, Ambassador Andrew Young, "Everybody became a country bumpkin when they walked into the Hyatt. You had to say, 'Oh my god, what is this?'"