Colorbearer of Athens Celebrating Black History
FEBRUARY 15, 2017 · VOL. 31 · NO. 6 · FREE
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Hundreds of constituents from Athens and elsewhere descended on Greensboro Feb. 10 to tell their reps to stand up to Trump. See p. 5 for more.
City Dope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
NEWS: Feature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Georgia Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Do Black Students Feel Welcome at UGA?
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Trae Crowder on the Truckers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Lingua Franca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
FOOD: The Locavore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Record Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Georgia Farmers Await Perdueâ€™s Ag Policies
Corner of Chase and Boulevard
Art Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Movie Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
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Space Dungeon Drops Three New Releases
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VOLUME 31 ISSUE NUMBER 6
comments section â€œI am not too worried about the Gordys doing anything. They were supposed to open a Varsity on [Highway] 316 in Bethlehem/Winder over a year ago. So far, nothing has even started.â€?
â€” Rick Harris
From â€œNo Plans to Redevelop Varsity Property, Commissioners Say,â€? at flagpole.com. Association of Alternative Newsmedia
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Pushed Out, Priced Out, Taxed Out Residents Worry About Hancock, And More Local News By Blake Aued and Dan Jackson email@example.com
and the Athens Housing Authority is writLike elections, zoning has consequences, ing a master plan for the West Broad area. often unintended ones—a lesson Athens The Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation residents have been learning the past few also weighed in on behalf of protecting the years. neighborhood. Board of Trustees President In 2000, responding to community Adam Hebbard told the commission that concerns about sprawling development, the ACHF supports the infill housing ordithe Athens-Clarke County Commission nance, “but we are also keenly aware this approved a new zoning map that limited ordinance would not provide protection growth in rural areas on the outskirts of to all neighborhoods,” specifically West the county, increased the allowed density Hancock Avenue, “one of the few intact downtown and designated neighborhoods [historic] African-American neighborhoods near downtown like the Hancock Corridor in Athens.” for multifamily development. Back to the 2000 comp plan: Newspaper The decision cost then-District 3 comarchives from the time show that downmissioner Alvin Sheats his seat. George town development wasn’t really an issue. Maxwell beat him two years later and sucRather, the fight was over whether rural ceeded in changing part of the neighborlandowners should be able to maximize hood’s zoning back to single-family. their profits when selling their property to Today, even Sheats is in favor of meadevelopers to build subdivisions. sures to protect the Hancock Corridor. “We realize we’re being pushed out, priced out, taxed out,” he told the commission Feb. 7 on behalf of the local NAACP chapter. Sheats and other Hancock residents were at the meeting because the commission was poised to pass an infill housing ordinance written in response to homebuyers knocking down normalsized homes, mainly in Five Points, to build huge ones that loom over their neighbors. However, the ordinance only covers single-family neighborhoods, not ones that are zoned multi-family but are mostly made up of single-family homes, such as Hancock, Rocksprings and West Broad. “If you can’t build your big dream mansion in Normaltown, are you going to move to Hancock?” said Commissioner Melissa Link, who won the District 3 seat after Maxwell retired in I’ve made a huge mistake. 2014. A few years later, condominium developHancock Corridor residents are nervous ments, mainly marketed to Georgia football about what might happen to their neighfans, started to pop up downtown. People borhood, especially considering the rumors thought they were ugly, so ACC adopted about turning The Varsity into a mixed-use design guidelines under Mayor Heidi development with a grocery store. (No Davison that don’t really seem to have done plans have been filed, and commissioners the trick. say a representative for the Gordy family, Development stalled during the receswhich owns the iconic restaurant and is sion, but about five years ago the market for assembling property around it, has assured “luxury” student housing within walking them nothing is imminent.) “Everyone in the neighborhood is incred- distance of the UGA campus (and downibly concerned about the encroaching devel- town bars) exploded. The 2000 zoning map worked, as commissioner Diane Bell noted. opment,” resident Casey Nissenbaum said. But no one had anticipated that thousands Link was ready to propose a moratoof people would move downtown in the rium on development in the corridor while span of just a few years, or that they’d officials look at zoning tweaks, but Mayor almost all be college students. Who drink. Nancy Denson and ACC Attorney Bill A lot. Now many residents are worried that Berryman blocked it, ruling that it wasn’t downtown is becoming “an alcohol theme germane to the infill housing ordinance. park,” as David Lynn, one of the candiBut the issue isn’t dead. A commitdates for Athens Downtown Development tee appointed by ACC, the Clarke County Authority executive director, recently put it. School District, the Athens Land Trust
At its Feb. 7 meeting, the commission voted to ban all but the smallest new bars and apartment complexes downtown for one year while a study is underway to address issues like overcrowding, rampant binge drinking and a toxic, discriminatory culture on the student bar scene east of Lumpkin. “We’ve got enough multi-family student apartments downtown,” Commissioner Mike Hamby said. “We don’t need any more… The same discussion has happened about bars on numerous occasions.” As Link argued, “You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to predict that these kinds of problems would ensue.” In fact, commissioners did try to grapple with it back in 2011, briefly declaring a moratorium on downtown development to study whether the infrastructure could handle it. But they opted not to change downtown’s 200bedrooms-per-acre maximum density in spite of discovering that the eastern side of downtown might not have the sewer capacity to handle it. That was not long after Denson killed the Blue Heron plan for a research park and riverwalk along the North Oconee River to clear the way for the notorious Selig/ Walmart development, which morphed into
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The Mark, the 900-bedroom apartment complex under construction on Oconee and Wilkerson streets. Now that it’s too late, Denson—who put the current moratorium on the agenda—has seen the light. “There are things we didn’t deal with incrementally that we have to deal with now,” the always-diplomatic Commissioner Kelly Girtz said. “Better to deal with them now than to ignore them altogether.” [Blake Aued]
Campus Carry: It’s Baaaaaaaack “I think some version of campus carry will be back,” state Rep. Regina Quick (R-Athens) told about 100 constituents at a town hall meeting at the library Feb. 5 sponsored by the local political group 100+ Days of Action. Sure enough, last week Rep. Mandy Ballinger (R-Canton) dropped a new
version of the bill allowing guns on college campuses, which UGA students and staff helped to fight off last year. Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed the bill, but the new version excludes university-run daycares, which was one of Deal’s objections last year. Quick voted for the bill last time, casting the issue as one of self-defense, while Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athen) voted against it. “My take on it is, there [are] probably guns all over campus right now,” he said. “You don’t see it.” The fine for carrying a concealed weapon on campus with a permit is only $100, he noted. The big issue under the Gold Dome right now, though, is casino gambling. Legislators are considering a bill to let voters decide whether to allow two “destination resorts” in Georgia; the bill would need a two-thirds majority in both chambers, because it’s a constitutional amendment. Supporters say it would boost funding for HOPE, but “I’m trying to figure out who benefits from this, and what’s in it for us,” Quick said. Both Quick and Frye are backing a bill that would halt gerrymandering by taking the power to draw districts out of partisan hands and turning it over to an independent committee. It doesn’t stand a chance, but they said they’re hoping to at least get a hearing on it to raise awareness. Another bill that they both support but has little chance of passing would let voters cast their ballots at any precinct in their home county. “There’s been some question as to whether or not this is some kind of partisan measure,” Quick said. “It’s not. It’s a goodgovernment, local-control measure.” Perhaps appropriately, given campus carry’s reemergence, much of the meeting focused on how to effectively communicate with legislators. Lawmakers rarely hear from more than six or 10 people on an issue, according to Frye. “A wellcomposed email or a phone call is extremely effective for me,” he said. But don’t send a mass email or form letter, Frye added. And don’t come to the capitol and expect Quick to leave the House chamber when it’s in session to meet with you; instead, call her before 8 a.m., during lunch or after 4 p.m., she said. Make sure you give your name and address, too. [BA]
Hallelujah! No More Pay-andDisplay Meters! One problem the new ADDA director, whoever that may be—a vote was scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 14—won’t have to deal with is the much-maligned pay-and-display parking meters. The ADDA originally purchased the meters in 2009 because authority members wanted to accept credit and debit cards and dollar bills for parking fees. But they were confusing and inconvenient to use, and frequently broke down. Soon after, singlespace meters that take cards became available, so the authority started the process
of replacing them in 2014. (Some of the pay-and-display meters have been moved to ADDA-owned surface lots.) The last nine pay-and-display meters were removed from Clayton Street last week, replaced with 127 new single-space meters at a cost of $141,250, paid for by parking and sales-tax revenue. The only drawback to the new meters is that frequent visitors to downtown won’t have the pleasure of watching out-of-towners trying to figure out how they work. [BA]
Athenians Travel to Greensboro to Trash Trump A large crowd of energized and vocal opponents of the new administration’s policies attended Friday’s constituent service meeting in Greensboro, hosted by representatives of Rep. Jody Hice, a Republican who represents Athens, and the state’s two Republican senators, Johnny Isakson and David Perdue.
took on the raucous mood of a university demonstration, as young, middle-aged and senior attendees shouted their support for the stories they heard from dozens of speakers. Each speaker announced their hometown, and many had traveled 100 miles or more for the meeting. Many speakers were teachers, and they decried charter-school advocate and major GOP donor Betsy Devos’ appointment as education secretary. One said, “We can’t let Trump sell out our children.” One speaker covered the Hice-sponsored House Resolution 586, the so-called Sanctity of Life Act, an anti-abortion bill that deems that life begins at fertilization. The speaker voiced fears of criminalizing women who lose their children to miscarriage, and cited horrifying examples of women being closely questioned regarding the circumstances of their miscarriages. A Hice representative who stayed behind to observe the meeting said he would take notes for the legislators but would not
Hundreds of Athens residents drove to Greensboro and crowded into a county government building Feb. 10 to confront staff members for Republican Rep. Jody Hice and Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue about their support for Trump Administration policies.
Some were wearing the pink “pussy hats” worn during the recent wave of demonstrations in Washington and in cities across the country, and many held up hand-lettered signs. The room was packed, and most of the crowd—estimated by Greene County Sheriff Donnie Harrison at more than 500—was standing in the back and along the sides of the room. After the staff members introduced themselves to the crowd, Josh Findlay, a Hice staffer, said it was “the largest crowd we’ve ever had” at this kind of meeting. He then announced that due to the crowd size, meetings would be held individually in nearby private rooms. At this point, people in the crowd began booing loudly and howling that they wanted to be heard by the legislators’ surrogates, and sustained chants of “Hear our voice!” “Cowards!” and “This is what democracy looks like!” rang out. Nonetheless, 15 minutes into the contentious meeting, the staffers walked through the crowd to the back of the packed room while one called a list of names of people with whom they would meet, speaking loudly over the chanting. An attendee then took the microphone and suggested that people who wanted to speak could come up to share their stories, and dozens of people began lining up to take their turn to speak. At that point, the meeting quickly
answer questions. The crowd noticed that he wasn’t taking notes and yelled at him to start writing, at which point he began writing in his notebook. Some speakers called for President Trump to release his taxes. Others pointed to issues of conflict of interest, and referred to Eric Trump’s recent trip on Trump business to Uruguay, during which he enjoyed the protection of his Secret Service detail. One speaker asked, to huge applause, “Did Hice vote secretly to do away with the House Committee on Ethics?” An immigrant from India pointed to Congress’ reluctance to pass laws for gun control. A second-generation MuslimAmerican woman asked rhetorically, “When people say I should go home, I wonder where they mean for me to go?” After about 80 minutes, a Hice staffer asked how many more people wanted to speak before the noon cut-off time, and more than 25 hands shot up. Referring to the oppression she felt by the administration, one speaker said to loud and long applause, “We are in Egypt, and Pharaoh is sitting in the White House!” After the meeting, which ran from 10 a.m. to nearly 12:30 p.m., an attendee was overheard to say, “At the end of the day, I think democracy is going to die, and we’re screwed.” [Dan Jackson] f
Craft Beer and Cavities Two Issues Georgia Is Finally Improving On By Tom Crawford firstname.lastname@example.org What should be the priority for state legislators—helping their poorest constituents or protecting the financial status of their most affluent constituents? In the case of Georgia lawmakers, the answer has traditionally been to take care of the wealthy. There is a state law that says dental hygienists cannot provide basic services such as teeth cleanings in settings like school clinics and nursing homes unless a dentist is present to provide “direct supervision.” Georgia is one of only three states—Alabama and Mississippi are the others—that still make it illegal for hygienists to do this. Thousands of low-income Georgians will suffer from tooth decay and gum diseases because they can’t afford to go to the dentist. Sam Whitehead of GPB filed a compelling report on how the law affects Turner County Elementary School, located in the South Georgia town of Ashburn where more than a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line. A free dental clinic was set up at the elementary school that is equipped with dental chairs and related medical equipment. It is intended to help kids who couldn’t afford a trip to the dentist. But no children have been treated at the clinic because there aren’t many dentists in that part of the state, and the law makes it illegal for hygienists to provide these services unattended by dentists. Why is such an absurd statute allowed to remain on the books? Because dentists, like doctors, are a powerful group of professionals who can afford to have lobbyists represent them at the capitol. There are some dentists who don’t want to see their revenue streams threatened by these safety-net clinics that provide free dental care for poor people, so their lobbyists have worked hard to keep the state law from being amended.
That situation appears to be changing this year. Bills that would repeal the requirement for “direct supervision” were introduced in both chambers and are making their way through the legislative process. The House and Senate both voted last week to approve their versions of the bill. Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville), a legislator who is also a dentist, is one of the sponsors of the House bill. “All in all, if it helps more children access dental care, then we have done a good day’s work,” Hawkins said. Speaking of prohibition, our state is also in last place in an entirely different category. Georgia and Mississippi are the last two states that still make it illegal for craft brewers and local distillers to sell their products directly to customers. This law is a holdover from the prohibition era, and like the prohibitions against dental hygienists, it looks as if the state may finally get rid of it. The protected class in this case are the wholesalers. They don’t produce beer and distilled spirits at the manufacturing end, and they don’t sell it to customers on the retail end. Craft brewers and distillers, however, are required to sell their products to wholesalers, who turn around and sell it to package stores. Wholesalers extract a fee for serving as the middleman between the producers and the sellers, and this fee is passed along to consumers. This system has been in place for a long time, but some of the younger legislators have been asking why the law should be interfering with how brewers sell their beer. Bills allowing retail sales by local brewers and distillers are making their way through the system during this session, and it looks like they might pass. Georgia may be able to climb out of last place on this issue as well. f
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Finding a Place
Black Students Navigate the White World at UGA By Nick Chiles email@example.com
Crossley said. “My friends knew the cops weren’t coming. I’ve heard stories like that a couple of times.” scend to the third floor of Memorial Murray, whose program counsels about Hall at the University of Georgia, two dozen high-school seniors every year, walk along the winding hallway, and said he’s had four students from his proyou will come face to face with the emblems gram transfer from UGA in the of UGA’s efforts to embrace last several years because they diversity. The walls are covered didn’t feel comfortable or supwith plaques and signs for the ported on campus. many groups serving students I can understand where people are coming “I try to tell them when you who are not white. There’s the go to University of Georgia, it is Black Affairs Council, the Asian from when they say UGA is a white school. going to be a cultural change,” American Student Association, said Murray, adding that many the Hispanic Student white students come to UGA Association, the UGA chapter from rural areas, where they of the NAACP, the Multiracial aren’t used to being around Student Organization, the Black black students. “In the living Male Leadership Society. areas is where people are more These groups are part of themselves, and you see who the 231-year-old university’s they really are. That’s where attempt to make its vast camsome sensitivity training could pus of 28,000 undergraduates be provided for all students on feel less intimidating to nonthe campus.” white students. The message: And then there are the footNo matter who you are, you can ball games. find a family at UGA. “You feel unity at the But for black students, games—until they get drunk Athens can still be an unnervand we start losing,” said ing place. Every year, when they Gregory, a journalism major. step onto the campus for the “Then they can get really rude.” first time, many black students Reports of this kind of disfind themselves surrounded by comfort often get back to the more white people than they high schools from which these have ever seen in one place students came, leading many in their lives. They heard the high-achieving black hightalk in high school that UGA school seniors to avoid even was a “white school,” and now applying to UGA, many stuthey are finding out what that dents said. Many turn instead means. to Georgia State, where more The University of Georgia is than one-third of the underseen as the star of the state’s graduate population is black. public higher-education sys“I can understand where tem—an ambitious research Morgan Ukaonu people are coming from when university, flush with cash they say UGA is a white school,” said sophoreceived subtle digs or snide comments (endowment: $1 billion) and top professors more Morgan Guthrie, 19. “Even when you from white students many times. and boasting an extensive network of dietour here, you don’t really see many of us “I don’t know why, but it’s usually where hard alumni who sweat UGA red, particuwalking around. If they don’t see people we all live,” said Ukaonu, an entertainment larly during football season. that look like them, they are less inclined to and media studies major who graduated Black students represent just 7 percent come.” from the highly regarded Henry W. Grady of its student population (or about 2,000 Patrick M. Winter, associate vice presiundergrads), in a state where black students High School in Midtown Atlanta. “It can dent in the university’s admissions office, be subtle things, but being in the South, are 34 percent of all high-school graduates. said the school “works diligently” to recruit one thing you notice is that people are very Among the nation’s flagship state univerwell-mannered. So when I see or experience and retain a diverse student body. sities, only the University of Mississippi “As admission to UGA has become more certain things that don’t resemble that, and Louisiana State show a wider disparity competitive, it continues to be a priority to it stands out. And it’s happened multiple between black students on campus and the identify and encourage qualified Africantimes.” number of black high-school graduates in American students to apply,” Winter wrote Often, the instances are “people being the state, according to a Hechinger Report in an email, citing the office’s many outrude nonverbally,” she said, “such as the analysis. reach campaigns, as well as programs such time when I held the door for a guy and he “Most of our kids are used to going to as the African American Male Experience went through the door right next to it, and schools where they are in the majority,” didn’t acknowledge the fact that I was hold- and Georgia Daze, which bring prospective said Virgil Murray, executive director of students to the campus while they are highing the door for him.” the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, school seniors, with the hope that they will Sterling Crossley, a 19-year-old sophoan Atlanta-based program that helps highsee diversity in action in Athens. more, said a group of his friends, all black, achieving African-American students reach And Winter said the numbers are top-notch colleges and professional careers. went to a white fraternity party last year and were told they had to leave because “the improving; the black student enrollment “They go to Georgia, and they are not.” among freshmen who entered UGA this cops were coming.” Interviews with black students on the fall was 8.4 percent, or about 500 students, “But then they continued partying,” Georgia campus revealed that while they have not often encountered racial strife in classrooms, they sometimes experience unpleasantness because of their race in the dorms and in social situations. UGA junior Morgan Ukaonu, 20, and her friend Jalen Gregory, 21, a senior, said that they have
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Praying for Sonny Skeptical Farmers Hope for the Best Under Ag Secretary Perdue By Lauren Baggett email@example.com Many environmental and sustainable farming advocates around the country greeted the nomination of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s nomination for secretary of agriculture with skepticism—this is the guy who publicly prayed for rain during the 2007 drought, after all. President Trump and his people are saying Perdue’s farming background and governing experience make him a perfect candidate. Born in rural Perry and raised on a cotton farm, Perdue made a living selling seeds and fertilizer to commercial farmers before taking his turn as governor. His latest venture, Perdue Partners, trades food and industrial products overseas.
Steve O’Shea of 3 Porch Farm is concerned that Trump’s derisive stance on environmental protections and his “aggressive” federal agency restrictions will jeopardize the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, which funds renewable energy projects for rural farms. 3 Porch Farm received REAP grants for two solar installations, and O’Shea says his farm’s electrical infrastructure is now net carbon-neutral. But he’s afraid REAP may be on the chopping block. “Since this administration is virtually the only government in the world to disbelieve that climate change is a reality, I can see positive programs like this as prime targets for dismantling,” he says.
Joshua L. Jones
marketing initiatives, said when he hears black high-school students talk about fears that the UGA campus is intimidating, he believes it’s because they’re unaware of the efforts the university is making. “There are a lot of resources we offer here on campus, and there’s no way that type of detail is going to get down to a high-school student,” he said. “One of the things I commonly hear from students is, ‘Oh, I didn’t know about this. I didn’t know this was here. If I’d only known this, it would have made my decision a lot more informed.’ “It’s a little bit on the University of Georgia to do better,” he added. “To get out there and say, ‘Of course there’s a spot for you. We want to be welcoming and here for you.’” Buffins, of the campus NAACP chapter, said he can see the considerable efforts UGA is making to create a campus that is comfortable for nonwhite students. “I’d give them between a B-plus and an A-minus in that area,” he said. But Guthrie said there is only so much UGA officials can do. “The higher-ups can try their best, but we’re not going to class with them, we don’t see them everyday, we’re not interacting with them everyday,” she said. “That’s where the disconnect is.” Just 70 miles away, in You feel unity at the games— downtown Atlanta, is UGA’s less prestigious cousin, Georgia until they get drunk and we State University. More than a start losing. third of its 25,000 undergraduates are black, and it has been heralded nationally for its commitment to the success of black students. In fact, Georgia State now graduates more black students every year than any college in the United States. This glaring contrast presents black students in the Peach State with a choice: At the risk of oversimplifying, it’s prestige versus comfort. “Students here feel that UGA has more prestige,” said Morgan Palmer, 19, a UGA sophomore. “That’s the first thing they talk about when someone says they want to transfer because they feel out of place—that you won’t get as good an education.” That prestige is weighed against the comfort of Georgia State, which some students say feels almost Jalen Gregory like a historically black college. Michelle Garfield Cook, associate proself-segregation, these students respond vost and chief diversity officer at UGA, said that no one questions the sight of a her office’s mission is to keep pushing to large group of white students socializing create a campus “that fosters diversity and together. inclusion.” The existence of Tate Time speaks to the As evidence of success, Cook pointed vexing question that black parents and stuout that UGA for the past three years has dents have confronted for decades: how to received a Higher Education Excellence find that elusive campus offering an educain Diversity (HEED) Award, presented by tion that will kick open doors in the profesthe magazine INSIGHT Into Diversity to sional world, along with an environment where black students will feel respected and schools that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion in their programs, even championed. “If you’re a university, and you have black hiring practices and student recruitment, retention and completion. UGA was one of students, underrepresented students, stu83 schools to receive the award this year; so dents in oppressed groups, then you should was Georgia State. f be making every effort to make them feel comfortable, safe, secure,” Buffins said. “Especially if you are a PWI [predominantly This story was produced by The Hechinger white institution] in the South, with those Report—a nonprofit, independent news organihistorical legacies that are pretty terrible.” zation focused on inequality and innovation in Stan Jackson, the university’s director education—and is reprinted with permission. Read of student affairs communications and more at hechingerreport.org/category/higher_ed. compared to 7.4 percent of the class that entered in 2006, or about 375 students. Murray, of the Maynard Jackson program, said the university has an obligation to keep increasing that number. “We are taxpayers, too. We help pay for those salaries and administration at UGA,” he said. “They can’t say ‘we’re doing a good job’ based on these numbers.” When black students at UGA need to feel a rejuvenating caress from kindred spirits, they know where to go. They call it “Tate Time.” Every weekday beginning at about 11 a.m., the plush chairs and couches outside the food court in the Tate Student Center start to fill up with black students chatting, flirting, studying, eating—enjoying the comfort of a space they have carved out as their own. “You can study in Tate Time around people who look like you, in a comfortable space, and you can be how you want to be, talk how you want to talk, without being judged or feeling awkward,” said Mansur Buffins, 20, a junior who is president of the UGA chapter of the NAACP. To those who would ask why black students, or Asian students or Hispanic students, choose to engage in this type of
Steve O’Shea of Athens’ 3 Porch Farm is concerned Secretary of Agriculture nominee Sonny Perdue will end a federal program that helped him install solar panels on his farm.
Georgia Organics spokesperson James Carr says the Georgia farmers he’s talked to are excited about an ag secretary from Georgia. Though Perdue hasn’t been very vocal about organic farming in the past, Carr is hopeful that he’ll see the benefit in getting behind organic farming practices. “We do know that Sonny Perdue, as well as the state of Georgia in general, is a pro-business state,” he says. “Organic ag is the fastest growing sector of agriculture. Period.” And that’s not an alternative fact. Indeed, according to the Organic Trade Association, Americans spent over $43 million on organic products last year, a number that’s been increasing since 2006. Developing organic farms has also been shown to revitalize rural economies. That’s why Carr says he believes Trump’s administration could help organic farmers. “We know that a lot of Donald Trump’s campaign was about rural areas and about farmers,” he says, “so we have hopes that they’ll see those trends and work with us to continue growing the market.” But Trump and Perdue’s stance on climate change has small farmers alarmed. In an opinion piece for the National Review, Perdue claimed that climate-change science has been exaggerated. In a time of persistent drought, some groups like the National Resource Defense Council are wondering if Perdue is the right man to guide USDA.
O’Shea is also nervous that funding cuts will affect the Natural Resource Conservation Service. “Almost every farm I know has received cost-sharing grants from the NRCS for a well or high tunnel [a type of greenhouse] that really helped them, and us, get off the ground and have a fighting chance to get through another year.” The NRCS, he says, is one of the few assistance programs that funds small farms, rather than large agribusiness firms. Perdue’s ties to Big Ag also worry sustainable farmers like O’Shea, but it isn’t a top concern for Carr. “I think we’re really at a time right now where, to a certain extent, we’ve got to let go of past grudges and past arguments, because we’ve got to move forward collectively,” says Carr. Cedar Grove Farm’s Caitlyn Hardy isn’t as optimistic. “[Perdue] is a supporter of factory farms, GMOs and deregulating environmental policies,” she says in an email. “I don’t foresee him implementing any policies that will help small organic farms.” No matter which changes to farming policy Perdue may or may not make, Carr says Georgia Organics will continue to support farmers and work with political leaders in whatever way they can. Hardy says she will keep on farming and also keep a “watchful eye” on President Trump and his cabinet. “We can all take a cue from the former governor and pray,” she says. f
F E B R u ar y 1 5 , 2 0 1 7 | F L A G P O L E . C O M
â€˜Them Boys Get Itâ€™
The Liberal Redneck on the Drive-By Truckers By Trae Crowder firstname.lastname@example.org Editorâ€™s Note: Tennessee-based comedian Trae Crowder, whoâ€™s best known for the comic monologues he releases on YouTube as The Liberal Redneck, will open for the Drive-By Truckers on Friday, Feb. 17â€”the second night of the bandâ€™s annual HeAthens Homecoming series. Flagpole writer Marc Schultz invited Crowder to share the story of how a funny guy like him ended up opening for one of the Southâ€™s most serious rock bands.
place for highbrow, highly accented Southern comedy. Hell, look at the Truckers! If they can do it with music, then by God, we can do it with dick jokes. For years, we toiled in obscurity, made no easier by the fact that it was both expected and, frankly, justified. We
not gonna lie: I donâ€™t remember how I found out about the Drive-By Truckers, and I donâ€™t remember the first time I listened to them. But I remember the first time my dad did. My pops was this old rock-and-roll redneck, an absolute purist when it came to music. The maddest I ever saw him was when he heard Limp Bizkitâ€™s cover of The Whoâ€™s â€œBehind Blue Eyes,â€? so I was always nervous when I played him anything I was into. But one day, I put on â€œLet There Be Rock,â€? off Southern Rock Opera, and he smiled through the whole song. When it ended, he just said, â€œThem boys get it.â€? (Which meant, by proxy, I also got it! Right?) We shared a love for the band for the rest of his days. I already liked what I heard out of the Truckers, but once they got Dadâ€™s official stamp of approval, they occupied a higher echelon. As I got deeper into their catalog, I started realizing just how personal it all felt: â€œHoly shit, Iâ€™m not alone! You can be a real Southerner without playing into all the old clichĂŠs! You donâ€™t have to be ashamed of your accent! There is a way to be Southern and also not terrible! Hell yeah. Them boys do get it.â€? As I got into comedy, I made a conscious decision to follow their leadâ€”to do in comedy what they have done so successfully in music. I wanted to be proudly Southern, but without the stereotypes so often used by Southern comicsâ€”to get the job done without gettinâ€™ â€™er dun. So thatâ€™s what I did, and man, I stood out like a sore thumb. But I kept doing my own thing, and along the way, I met a couple other country-boy joke-offs, Corey Ryan Forrester and Drew Morgan, who felt the same way I did. Despite our sparsely-attended shows, we knew there was a
met old pros who had been chipping away at the same block we had, only for much longerâ€”guys like Athens resident Stewart Huff, an utterly brilliant and progressive hillbilly comedian from rural Kentucky, who had been at it for the better part of our lives. Stewartâ€™s genius inspired us, but also made us wonder: If a guy that smart and talented, working at such a high level for so long, hasnâ€™t broken throughâ€Ś Well, shit. Not that any of us were about to quit, but man, there were times. Like April 2015, when Corey and I co-headlined an Atlanta show where there were eight people in attendance. After accounting for gas, we made negative-15
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bucks. On the trip back to Tennessee, we were both wondering what in the hell we were doing. But less than two months later, we returned to Atlanta for the first night of our WellRED Tour, featuring Corey, Drew and me. It was a Sunday night at The Punchline, and we sold out two shows. Atlanta comedy legend George Wallace came onstage to do a set and hung out with us afterwards. And it was all because of some comedy videos I made on my back porch that went viral. In under a year, we hit more than 75 cities and sold out over 90 percent of our shows. We published our first book, The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Dragginâ€™ Dixie Outta the Dark (!); I appeared on â€œReal Time with Bill Maherâ€? (!!); and Iâ€™m developing a sitcom based on my life (!!!). Despite all of that, when someone asks me what the coolest part of this year has been, I tell them it was getting to meet the Truckers after their show in Lexington last summer. Whoever said, â€œNever meet your heroes,â€? they sure as shit didnâ€™t know the Drive-By Truckers. Since then, Patterson Hood and I have kept in touch, and one night last fall, he called to ask me to open for the band at this yearâ€™s HeAthens Homecoming (!!!!!). Performing with the Truckers is a dream come true. Itâ€™s also this whole thing coming full circle. While I canâ€™t say that DBT has been a huge influence on me in terms of joke-writing, theyâ€™ve had a colossal influence on my approach to comedy. Now that Iâ€™m having the unbelievable good fortune of that approach paying off, itâ€™s amazing to be able to thank the Truckers in person for the part theyâ€™ve played. Of course, Iâ€™ve also got to thank my pops, who knew the truth from his very first listenâ€”them boys get it. See yâ€™all in Athens. f
WHO: Drive-By Truckers Homecoming WHERE: 40 Watt Club WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 16â€“Saturday, Feb. 18 HOW MUCH: $31 (Thursday), SOLD OUT (Friday & Saturday)
If you are in crisis due to domestic violence, F. Neal Pylant D.M.D., P.C. wants you to ďŹ nd help.
If your partner objects when you use the phone, limits your everyday contact with family and friends, and you restrict yourself to avoid angry, aggressive confrontations, you need to step back and take another look. How can you cope once you are involved with a controlling partner? Call Project Safe for help. Our hotline is conďŹ dential, and counseling is free. Get your life back. Get help.
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Word on the Street Lingua Franca Uses Music and Language to Unite By Kat Khoury email@example.com
â€œThe Con and the Can,â€? Parkerâ€™s newest track, was written in bits and pieces that she says were thematically linked but in need of something to propel them into a complete song. That catalyst came postelection, as she felt the need to formalize the feelings she had been having for a while. Parker says â€œthe song just kind of fell together out of that energy.â€? Linguistically speaking, Parker studies hip-hop patterns and tools, such as slant rhymes and syllables per second, but what she finds most interesting is â€œthe way hiphop language kind of flips the traditional value system upside down.â€? â€œMetaphor-making in general really relies on that,â€? she says. â€œFor I take to heart picking apart example, I have a rhyme thatâ€™s like, â€˜Like the scent of cyanide, Iâ€™m a other peopleâ€™s style in a little bitterâ€™â€Ś Thatâ€™s a sense expevery systematic way. rience of a smell, but now youâ€™re equating it to an emotion, so now youâ€™re opening up that frame to encompass more meaning than is expected.â€? Parkerâ€™s passion for hip hop extends past her studies and her music. She was also a key figure in starting the Hot Corner Hip Hop series, which â€œpushes back against racism and classism in downtown Athens through events which build creative, multicultural community,â€? according to its Facebook page. She is also working with middle and high-schoolers to inspire the next generation of Athens hip-hop artists, and is involved with the first Girls Rock Athens hip-hop camp. If Parker has bridged a divide in her own life between academia and music, sheâ€™s attempting to bridge a larger one in the community, as she works to integrate hip hop into the larger scene. Sheâ€™s shared bills with indie and Americana artists such Linguistics has helped shape how Parker as Wanda and The Darnell Boys, and is writes her music, but hip hop is also her working on setting up a tour with harpist specialization within linguistics, and she and fellow linguist Lisa Lipani, demonstrattakes her research to the street, recording the fluidity of music and the influence ing local rappers as they perform, often different genres have on one another. freestyle. She then transcribes the perforFor Parker, bringing together the facmances and studies the intricacies of each tions of Athens music means bringing personâ€™s style. together Athens people, and using her â€œItâ€™s like how they say, if you want to be experience living and performing in prea good writer, you gotta read the greats and dominantly white spaces to â€œcreate places stuff like that,â€? Parker explains. â€œSo, I kind of take to heart picking apart other peopleâ€™s for others who might not be able to [join in] as easily.â€? style in a very systematic way.â€? â€œItâ€™s a matter of extending an explicit In â€œMidnight Oil,â€? a track from Lingua welcome to people, like, â€˜Hey, come here,â€™ Francaâ€™s new, self-titled EPâ€”Parker celinstead of just being like, â€˜Oh, well, itâ€™s open ebrates the EPâ€™s release Saturday with a to whoeverâ€™,â€? she says. â€œBut if you arenâ€™t performance at the Hot Corner Hip Hop showcaseâ€”Parker references sitting in class in the know already, youâ€™d never find that out.â€? f and making a list of adjectives. Her songs typically start out with a list of thematically linked or rhyming words. â€œUsually, whatever is going on in my life, WHAT: Hot Corner Hip Hop or a thought that has plagued me for a long WHERE: The World Famous time, kind of fills itself in,â€? says Parker. â€œI WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 18, 9 p.m. start at the end of the line, and work backHOW MUCH: $5â€“$10 (donation) wards to fill it in with stuff thatâ€™s bothering me.â€? or many in Athens, academia is their lifeblood. For others, itâ€™s music. But for Mariah Parker, known to the Athens scene as Lingua Franca, the two worlds are entwined. After visiting Athens on a whim, the hip-hop enthusiast found herself studying linguistics in the graduate program at the University of Georgia, where â€œit became very clear to me how rap is structured around the basic patterns of English,â€? says Parker. â€œSo I started looking at it as, like, a puzzle. These are the piecesâ€”how do you put them together to make a picture?â€?
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Dig Three New Space Dungeon Releases Plus, More Music News and Gossip By Gordon Lamb firstname.lastname@example.org ITâ€™S A THREE FOR ALL: The Space Dungeon hip-hop collective is blasting into the new year with force: Three separate records from a few of its constituent members are newly released. First up is the anxiously awaited debut EP by Lingua Franca, the project of Mariah Parker. A release show is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18 at The World Famous, and this just happens to be the one-year anniversary show for the Hot Corner Hip Hop series. What Parker seems to understand on a preternatural level is the importance of personality as a distinguishing marker of artistic authenticity. This new record has personality all over it, from the exuberant, thoughtful production (courtesy of Savannahâ€™s Letsruntrack, Athensâ€™ murk daddy flex and WesdaRuler and French producer Visual Rich) to Parkerâ€™s pointed rhymes. The pro-choice â€œEight Weeksâ€? stands its ground, but concedes difficulty, and opening salvo â€œUp Closeâ€? lays things bare with its â€œwhat you see is only the start of what youâ€™ll getâ€? statement of strength. Thereâ€™s also the calling-card â€œThe Good Feelsâ€? and the pharmaceutical confessional â€œMidnight Oil.â€? Stylistically, Lingua Franca is akin to several early-to-midLex Callahan â€™90s hip-hop groups. I hear echoes of Brand Nubian, Poor Righteous Teachers, Souls of Mischief and Gang Starr. The beats are catchy enough to pull you in, and the lyrics strong enough to keep you thinking. Look for this at lingua-franca.bandcamp.com, and shout out at facebook.com/liiinguafranca. BLACK MIRROR: Next up on the radar is Obsidian, from multi-instrumentalist and rapper Lex Callahan (aka Imorie Curry). There are a few collaborators here, but theyâ€™re selective and effective. Across the albumâ€™s eight tracks, there are guest vocals from Squalle, Lefty, T-Rexx the Tyrant and Space Dungeon compatriot Son Zoo. Most tracks were produced by WesdaRuler, with additional production work by North Carolinaâ€™s Michael â€œProfessaâ€? Butler. Callahan fleshed everything out with additional instrumentation. Things start off kinda slow with â€œFull Chamber.â€? Callahanâ€™s mid-tempo vocal flow is well-showcased, but the snare-rim tap-tap beat and thin keyboard here is kind of a false start compared to the rest of the album. After the opener, thereâ€™s a logical descent from the backpacker style
of interlude â€œVelvetâ€? into the almost Massive Attack-ish â€œVibezZâ€? into the psychedelia of â€œVendetta.â€? From there, it all sort of straightens its tie, so to speak, and dips into slight new-jack swing and jazz territory through â€œVacancy,â€? â€œVisionsâ€? and closer â€œCool Hand Luke.â€? Not a bad way to start the year. Check it out at lexcally.bandcamp.com, and do your part at facebook.com/lexcally. KNOW THYSELF: Finally, we come to the six-track Visions by Son Zoo (aka Kevin Boyd). Easily the most aggressive of this new trio of records, itâ€™s also the most accessible. While it doesnâ€™t really fall into full-on pop territory, it definitely skirts its hem in a style most recently emphasized by Run the Jewels. Ironically, the deftness of its production makes its lyrics less important and more easily ignored. Even so, Son Zoo is a fine MC with a knack for memorable hooks (â€œLucid Dreamâ€?), and, above criticism notwithstanding, he delivers solid and poetic critiques of chasing success at the expense of life itself in â€œWhat If.â€? By the time the record closes with â€œIntrospection,â€? itâ€™s easy to find oneself going back through the whole thing and paying even closer attention. Grab it at iamsonzoo.bandcamp.com, and keep up at facebook.com/iamsonzoo. OPEN FOR BUSINESS: OK, local businesses, itâ€™s time to register for the upcoming Athens Business Rocks benefit organized by, and for, NuĂ§iâ€™s Space. This is one of the most popular annual benefit shows, and pretty much everyone has a blast participating. All you have to do is get a band together from your place of work, register at athensbusinessrocks.com and pay the non-refundable $50 registration fee, then get three cover songs ready for performance. Please note that this benefit is an active fundraising effort, and participants are expected to continually raise funds until competition time. The winner is whoever raises the most money for NuĂ§iâ€™s Space. Bands receive one point for each dollar raised. The night of the show, there are also awards presented for â€œCrowd Favoriteâ€? and â€œJudgesâ€™ Favorite.â€? The deadline to register is Feb. 28, and the live competition happens at the 40 Watt Club Saturday, May 13. f
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Isaak Pancake: DRUMS OLO (Independent Release) Garrett Burke is known for his drumming with groups like Art Contest, Jock Gang and Tug, but Athens is just becoming acquainted with Isaak Pancake, Burkeâ€™s fiveyear-old experimental electronic project. DRUMS OLO, the third Pancake full-length, is laden with dexterous, anxiety-inducing drum solos, which synchronize nicely with droning, dripping sounds to create an expressive, fluctuating album. With the use of his laptop, a MIDI pad, contact microphones, effects pedals and an inventive disposition, Burke transforms his drums into a more dynamic instrument best experienced live. DRUMS OLO is dark, and the congruous flow between songs aids in its disorienting nature. Six-minute intro â€œBlind Ateâ€? opens the album with harrowing ambience, but picks up momentum and is carried seamlessly into the next track, â€œBuyer.â€? The albumâ€™s middle is curiously aqueous, emulating a deep-sea exploration to its end, which could be an alternative score to a John Carpenter movie. Burkeâ€™s mindful layering of dissonant sounds illustrates an emotive story, while his angular, lyric-less musicality forces listeners to formulate their own interpretations of, and navigate through, this intricate, idiosyncratic soundscape. [Frances Newton]
F L A G P O L E . C O M | F E B R u ar y 1 5 , 2 0 1 7
arts & culture
History and Tradition African-American Art at the Georgia Museum By Jessica Smith email@example.com Reflecting shifting cultural and political landscapes for African-American artists, â€œExpanding Tradition: Selections from the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collectionâ€? is an astounding exhibition diverse in style and rich in history. While some images are tied to pivotal eras like the Great Depression and Civil Rights Movement, many others touch on complex issues regarding race, gender and class. Currently on view at the Georgia Museum of Art through Sunday, May 7, the exhibition includes nearly 60 works from the coupleâ€™s collection, a decades-long passion. Following the appearance of the Thompsonsâ€™ previous traveling exhibition, â€œTradition Redefined,â€? the couple decided to donate 100 works to the museum in 2012, a major announcement that coincided with UGAâ€™s celebration of the 50th anniversary of its desegregation. â€œExpanding Traditionâ€? continues this commitment toward fostering inclusivity in galleries and ensuring that the narratives of African Americans are preserved within art history. It also serves as the inaugural exhibition for Dr. Shawnya Harris, the museumâ€™s new Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of AfricanAmerican and African Diasporic Art. â€œExpanding Traditionâ€? offers a survey of African-American art history through works spanning from the late 19th Century through the contemporary era. Impactful works by historical artistsâ€”Elizabeth Catlett, Charles Sebree, Wilmer Jennings and Rose Piperâ€”can be found steps away from pieces by living artists like Kara Walker, Amalia Amaki, Willie Cole and Preston Sampson. James Hiram Malone, whose painting â€œThe Stevedoreâ€? appears on this weekâ€™s cover of Flagpole, was born nearby in Winterville and served as a community activist and crucial member of the Atlanta arts scene for many years.
Both the exhibition and its accompanying catalog include biographical paragraphsâ€”a rare practice for wall labels, but one that offers valuable insight into the artistâ€™s personal backgrounds, academic achievements and cultural contributions. Many of these artists have doubled as educators, activists and pioneers, and recognizing their hardships and accomplishments is essential to the larger discussion. â€œExpanding Traditionsâ€? flows in a loosely chronological way, opening with several works by artists who were employed through the Works Progress Administrationâ€™s Federal Art Project, which supported artistic production during the Great Depression. This placed some artists in a position where they could depict the experiences of marginalized groups. Hale Woodruffâ€™s â€œPoverty and Prosperity,â€? for example, depicts a man idly seated on a waterfront with skyscrapers in the distance, suggesting the disappointment felt by many African Americans who migrated to northern cities in hopes of better opportunities. A section for abstraction is full of colorful and intriguing creations, like Freddie Stylesâ€™ â€œWorking Rootsâ€? painting, which utilized plant roots to make a dense growth of gestural markings over a red canvasâ€”a process suggesting connections to Georgia red clay, as well as African spiritual practices. The exhibition closes out with a collection of contemporary works, many of which take on mixed-media forms, like Benny Andrewâ€™s haunting â€œPoverty,â€? a larger-thanlife but gaunt figure wearing painted fabric and eating a meager meal collaged from scraps of painted material. Reflecting the museumâ€™s dedication to presenting solo exhibitions by underrecognized African-American artists, â€œMichael Ellison: Urban Impressionsâ€? showcases block prints and collage works
by the Atlanta-based printmaker and educator. Also curated by Harris, the exhibition borrows most of its pieces from the Thompsonsâ€™ collection. On view Saturday, Feb. 18 through Sunday, May 21, the works represent an important slice of history for Southern printmaking. After studying printmaking at the Atlanta College of Art on the GI Bill, Ellison went on to graduate with a masterâ€™s degree in visual arts from Georgia State University. His artistic career was challenged after he was injured in 1991, but he re-learned his processes and continued creating workâ€”including a mural in Atlantaâ€™s Five Points and multiple solo exhibitionsâ€”throughout the following decade until his death in 2001. Demonstrating a strong attachment to place, Ellisonâ€™s work frequently depicts urban landscapes and scenes from Atlantaâ€™s black community. Observed through the
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cluster of people shuffling onto the elevator depicted in â€œDing,â€? or the people patiently reading publications in the checkerboardfloored â€œWaiting Room,â€? Ellison has a unique ability to capture the camaraderie between strangers sharing mundane experiences. Other images focus on personal relationships, like the couples barbecuing and taking leisurely strolls through the park in â€œCythera Revisited.â€? Bursts of bold colors like magenta and chartreuse catch the eye, while thick layers of ink create texture. The Thompsons will visit the museum for Conversation on Collecting on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. The following evening from 6â€“9 p.m., the museum will host its annual Black History Month dinner, which also includes a gallery tour, live music by the UGA African-American Choral Ensemble and an awards ceremony for Emma Amos and Michael L. Thurmond. f
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45 S. Forest Ave., Elberton, GA
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59 Fifth Street, Hart County High School, Hartwell, GA Show Tickets (including tax) $ 21.40 Adults Âˇ $19.26 seniors $ 5.35 Students Âˇ $16.05 groups Meal and Show Ticket (including tax) $ 42.80 Adults Âˇ $16.05 Students Groups of 8 or more $37.45
LUNCH SPECIAL MONDAY-FRIDAY 11AM-3PM $ 5.75 2 SLICES (!,&