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Georgia mom’s post about 5-year-old paying rent sparks viral Facebook conversation

At the age of 5, most kids are still learning the basics of counting, but one Georgia mom has tasked her 5-year-old with not only counting but learning the art of financial planning.

Essence Evans has received international attention for her recent Facebook post, about requiring her 5-year-old daughter to pay toward the family’s rent, water, electricity, cable and food. Evans, who says she lives in Georgia, said in a Facebook post Jan. 14, that she gives her daughter a $7 allowance each week, so paying rent is a way to teach her some “real world” concepts.

“I explained to her that in the real world most people spend most of their paycheck on bills with little to spend on themselves,” Evans wrote. “So, I make her give me $5 dollars back. $1 for rent $1 for water $1 for electricity $1 for cable and $1 for food.”

Her daughter gets to keep $2 for herself or for saving.

The post has since been shared more than 314,000 times, and there are more than 44,000 comments, mainly praising Evans’ efforts to teach her daughter responsibility. 

“I think this is absolutely amazing! It is a great way to teach her how the real world works and to get her a little savings account of her own so she has a good start when she moves out or goes to college or whatever she chooses to do,” Jennifer Barfield wrote in response to the post.

Cathy White Stark agreed, writing that Evans is “a fantastic parent! Kids are clueless how things work and yes,they have this sense of entitlement. ... Good job.”

Some supporters even told personal stories of how similar tactics served them well.

“My father did that with me. I never complained. But when he died. He left me close to $28,000.00 I was shocked,” wrote Jim Koloski.

While the chorus of praise resonates throughout most of social media, there have been some that call her methods a bit much for a 5-year-old.

Some applauded the general idea but critiqued Evans for charging her child for necessities, even if just a small fee.

Evans’ Facebook post and the conversation around it has been featured on “Loose Women,” a television program in the United Kingdom, and several online news sites.

Evans did not immediately return The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s request for comment.

Atlanta History Center offers free MLK Day admission, special programs

It has been 50 years since the assassination of civil rights icon the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and yet his legacy lives on as large as ever.

For 2018’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 15, the Atlanta History Center will offer free admission to attendees and, for the second year in a row, a slate of special programming.

RELATED | 11 Atlanta events that honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

“We made the decision (to offer special programming) in 2017 because we saw such an opportunity to bring our museum theater program offerings to a large crowd,” said Joanna Arietta Potter, director of adult and family programs at the Atlanta History Center.

The Buckhead-based institution has offered free admission on MLK Day since 2013, drawing a record 3,089 visitors last year. Free admission will also be offered at the Margaret Mitchell House at Atlanta History Center Midtown. Both locations will be open from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday.

Scheduled free programming is intended to engage a local audience with segregation and civil rights movement-sparked integration, with a special emphasis on Atlanta’s key role in the story.

A highlight for 2018 will be two screenings of the film “A Trek to the River’s Edge.” Created by filmmaker Althea Brown, the film highlights 1960s student leaders from the Atlanta University Center.

Brown said she’s been working on the project for more than two decades. In its present form, the film lasts 30 minutes, but she envisions a feature-length version at some point. She said the story’s tremendous significance has inspired her to stick with the project for so long.

“About 20 years ago, I met a group of shakers and movers from the Atlanta student movement,” said Brown. “Their story was so dynamic, and not that many people even know about it.”

RELATED | Where to volunteer for MLK Day of Service 2018

The film features several well-known Atlanta civil rights leaders, including former state Sen. and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, who passed away in 2015. Bond and fellow students including Lonnie King and Roslyn Pope launched the movement after meeting at a Morehouse College coffee shop, authoring “An Appeal for Human Rights” in March 1960, which ran in several newspapers, including The Atlanta Constitution.

RELATED | What you should know about the legacy of Julian Bond

Brown notes that students and future leaders can learn from and be inspired by the 1960s leaders to continue fighting injustice.

“The thing about this particular movement is that it happened strategically,” said Brown. “There was a plan put in place. They followed that plan; they thought strategically on how to make things happen. Yelling and screaming and shouting hadn’t worked in the past. It doesn’t work now.”

“A Trek to the River’s Edge” will be shown at 1 and 3 p.m., with a discussion following each screening. Other programming scheduled for MLK Day includes a Freedom Ride simulation and several screenings of “The Big March,” which details the 1963 March on Washington. Visitors are encouraged to check for schedule updates.

Potter emphasized that the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s was not the only time people have fought against inequality and bigotry.

“All too often, history books focus on sole figures during the civil rights movement and don’t pay enough attention to the young people on college campuses, such as those of the Atlanta University Center, where a lot of the work to gain equality was being done,” said Potter. “It is super inspiring to see the former student leaders and hear about their experiences.”

She pointed out that there are many reasons why it is so important to continue honoring King through programming and other events, especially in Atlanta.

“King’s birthplace and home are here in Atlanta, he is important as a leader in the civil rights movement, and the echoes of his nonviolent protests still resonate today with social justice change,” said Potter. “We see Dr. King as an important figure in his own right, and also as a representation of what a community can do when it comes together to fight injustice.”

Here is a sampling of the programming that will be offered (check for updates):


“A Trek to the River’s Edge” film screening and conversation

Woodruff Auditorium

1 and 3 p.m.

Duration: 1 hour

“A Trek to the River’s Edge” is a documentary about the Atlanta Student Movement of the 1960s and outlines the strategy, planning and support from the larger community striving to overcome the oppression of segregation. Hear filmmaker Althea Brown and 1960s student leaders of the group Committee on Appeal for Human Rights discuss this challenging period in Atlanta’s history.


Freedom Ride simulation

Grand Overlook Ballroom

11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m.

Duration: 45 minutes

Parental guidance suggested

Do you have what it takes to be a civil rights movement Freedom Fighter? In this interactive theatrical simulation, test your courage by traveling into the Deep South on a Freedom Ride with CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) representatives and help test new laws banning segregation on interstate buses.


“Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta” exhibition

11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.

Duration: 15 minutes

Join a paperboy in 1906 as he educates new recruits on the “tricks of the trade” while highlighting the challenges he encountered as a witness to the Atlanta Race Riot that year.

“Connie Curry”

“Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta” exhibition

10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.

Duration: 15 minutes

Gather in the exhibition’s diner-styled space to meet activist Connie Curry as she trains a new group of student volunteers for the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and explores her journey in the struggle for civil rights.

“Rosalyn Walton”

“Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta” exhibition

10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m.

Duration: 12 minutes

Encounter Rosalyn Walton of the Atlanta Nine — a group of trailblazing students who integrated Atlanta schools — as she is being interviewed by a reporter and concludes that being a regular teenager is nearly as difficult as being a trailblazer for civil rights.


“The Big March” (Newsreel, 1963) and “March on Washington” (1963) features from the DVD “Martin Luther King: ‘I Have a Dream’”

Kennedy Theatre

10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.

Duration: 25 minutes

View newsreel footage captured during the March on Washington, the Aug. 28, 1963, political rally, a key moment in the civil rights movement that culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“I Have a Dream” (1963)

Kennedy Theatre

11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.

Duration: 20 minutes

Watch the landmark speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. as he addressed a crowd of more than 200,000 in Washington, D.C.


Make protest buttons and signs.

Create inspiring resistance poetry.

Note: Funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council.


Atlanta History Center. 130 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta. 404-814-4000,

Margaret Mitchell House. 979 Crescent Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-249-7015,

5 things to know about ‘Black Panther’

Opening day for Marvel’s “Black Panther” is right around the corner, but there’s still plenty of time to brush up on your comic book history.

» RELATED: Marvel's "Black Panther" trailer is worthy of superhero 

Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita N’yongo and a host of others, the Ryan Coogler-directed film follows Black Panther, or T’Challa, as he returns home to his African nation of Wakanda to reclaim his throne.

While the film, out Feb. 16,  will reveal plenty about the superhero, there are a few facts worth noting before you head to the theaters. 

Here are five things you should know. 

The character predates the founding of the Black Panther Party.

While many often link the comic with the Black Panther movement, they were actually formed separately and at different times. The character was created in July of 1966 just before the Black Panther party was founded in October of the same year, according to

In 1972, the character’s name was temporarily changed to Black Leopard to avoid any association with the organization, according to an article by the Hollywood Reporter.

The character first appeared in Fantastic Four. 

Black Panther made his debut in issue No. 52 of “Fantastic Four” in 1966, according to Marvel. He later appeared with Captain America in “Tales of Suspense.” He also showed up in “Daredevil” and “The Avengers.” 

His storyline blossomed when he received his first starring feature with “Jungle Action” in July 1973. He continued to make cameos in print and has been spotted in animated films since 1994. 

» RELATED: Man raises nearly $30,000 on GoFundMe to help Harlem kids see ‘Black Panther’

He is the first black superhero in American mainstream comic books. 

Although you may be familiar with Luke Cage, Black Lightning and Falcon, Black Panther was the first black superhero, according to Marvel. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the character is also known as T’Challa, the King of the African nation Wakanda. His home is very lavish and technologically advanced, and Black Panther’s powers include superhuman acute senses, strength, speed and healing.

He was once married to Storm.

T’Challa and Storm, also known as Ororo Munroe, fell in love as teenagers. They separated, but were later united and married in a huge Wakandan wedding in front of their friends and family. Shortly after the ceremony, they began traveling together on a diplomatic tour.

They were married for more than six years before it was annulled by the high priest of the Panther clan, according to He was upset with Storm for helping her X-Men instead of Wakanda while it was under attack.

Filmmakers began working on the action flick as early as 1992.

Wesley Snipes, who helped bring “Blade” to the big screen in the 1990s, was interested in portraying the character in 1992. The film went into development for four years, but Lee was reportedly unhappy with the script and put it on hold.

Through the years, filmmakers continued to toil with the script and shop for actors directors. John Singleton, Ava DuVernay, F. Gary Gray were all considered, but Ryan Coogler was officially announced as the director in 2016. Filming finally began January of 2017 in Atlanta. 

» RELATED: 3 ways to score ‘Black Panther’ presale tickets in Atlanta

AJC Sepia Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Playlist

Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 89-years-old on Monday. 

In the 50 years since his death, literally dozens of songs – crossing a wide range of genres – have been dedicated to his memory and inspired by his words and works. 

As a theologian, King understood and appreciated music. 

As a civil rights leader, he understood the power that music had within the movement. Personally, hymns and spirituals helped carry him through difficult time. 

In honor of King’s birthday and life, AJC Sepia has dropped the Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Spotify Playlist for your listening pleasure and reflection.

In 1964, at the opening of the Berlin Jazz Festival, King said of jazz and the blues: 

“God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create—and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment and many different situations.” 

“Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life’s difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph,” King said. “This is triumphant music.”


»AJC Sepia Blue-eyed Soul Playlist

King often called upon the songs of gospel great Mahalia Jackson for inspiration, particularly her version of “Amazing Grace.” 

At the 1963 March on Washington, Jackson sang the spiritual “How I Got Over.”

King later wrote that the song set the tone for his “I Have a Dream” speech. 

Historians even suggest that during King’s speech, Jackson loudly urged him to “tell them about the dream,” in reference to previous allusions to dreams. 

On the spot, King shifted his speech

»AJC Sepia Family Reunion Playlist

He embraced Nina Simone in 1965 after she sang her “showtune, but the show hasn’t been written for it yet,” the defiant “Mississippi Goddam,” on the highway between Selma and Montgomery on a makeshift stage supported by empty coffins. 

Simone crossed out “Tennessee,” and sang “Selma made me lose my rest,” to the tight crowd. When she met King after her performance, she told him, “I’m not nonviolent!” 

King gently replied, “Not to worry, sister.” 

On April 7, 1968, just three days after King was assassinated,  Simone walked on stage at the Westbury Music Festival and wailed the lamenting dirge, that her band barely had time to learn,  “Why? (The King of Love is Dead).”

“Turn the other cheek he'd plead/ 

Love thy neighbor was his creed/ 

Pain humiliation death, he did not dread/ 

With his Bible at his side/

From his foes he did not hide/ 

It's hard to think that this great man is dead.”

John Coltrane wrote songs for him. So did Paul McCartney and James Brown.  Aretha Franklin sang at his funeral.

»AJC Sepia African-American Music Appreciation Playlist

In the 1980s, the Irish band U2 stunned the world with “(Pride) In the Name of Love,” and in the 1990s Public Enemy punched the world in the face with “By the Time I Get to Arizona,” whose video parallels King’s assassination with the assassination of the Arizona governor, who refused to acknowledge the King Holiday. 

“I'm singin' 'bout a KING/ 

They don't like it when I decide to mic it/ 

Wait, I'm waitin' for the date/

For the man, who demands respect/ 

Cause he was great, C’mon/ 

I'm on the one mission to get a politician to honor/ 

Or he's a goner by the time I get to Arizona”

Speaking of the King Holiday, on Jan. 13, 1986, King’s youngest son Dexter Scott King spearheaded a project called “King Holiday,” a hip-hop/R&B song with a line-up of popular artists that was released in anticipation of the first official observance of the holiday. 

Written by Philip Jones, Kurtis Blow, Melle Mel and Bill Adler, the song and the video - credited to the The King Dream Chorus and Holiday Crew - featured everyone from Whitney Houston to New Edition to Menudo to the Fat Boys. “King Holiday” reached No. 30 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles Chart. 

But perhaps no song speaks to King more than Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday.” 

Wonder was one of the main advocates pushing for a King Holiday when he released “Happy Birthday,” in 1981 as part of the campaign to have King’s birthday become a national holiday. 

»RELATED: AJC Sepia Holiday Playlist

On Nov. 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan approved the creation of the holiday and the first official Martin Luther King Jr. Day was held on Jan. 20, 1986. 

Although the song by Wonder never charted on the HOT 100, it remains a powerful piece of art, for another reason: His version of “Happy Birthday,” has become the de-facto African American happy birthday song.

“Happy birthday to you/

Happy birthday to you/

Happy birthday/

Happy birthday to you.”

Staff writer Nedra Rhone contributed to this story.

Serena Williams tells scary story of childbirth complications

The image on the cover of the February issue of Vogue features Serena Williams proudly showing off her adorable daughter.

The story she tells of the changes wrought on her life by the arrival of Alexis Olympia, whom she calls by her middle name and husband Alexis Ohanian refers to as Junior, are sweet, but the aftermath of the baby's birth in September was anything but serene.

Williams, 36, had alluded to "complications" that ensued, but she tells writer Rob Haskell that there were some harrowing moments because she experienced a pulmonary embolism, a recurrence of an issue that left her "on my death bed" in 2011. That time, she did not appreciate the gravity of the matter. This time, after having an emergency C-section when her heart rate dropped during contractions, she knew that something was very, very wrong when she suddenly felt short of breath.

Williams was off the anticoagulant she takes daily because of the surgery and she "immediately assumed" she was having another embolism.

"She walked out of the hospital room so her mother wouldn't worry and told the nearest nurse, between gasps, that she needed a CT scan with contrast and IV heparin (a blood thinner) right away," Haskell writes. "The nurse thought her pain medicine might be making her confused. But Serena insisted, and soon enough a doctor was performing an ultrasound of her legs. "I was like, a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip," she remembers telling the team. The ultrasound revealed nothing, so they sent her for the CT, and sure enough, several small blood clots had settled in her lungs. Minutes later she was on the drip. "I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!"

If only that were the end of it. The incision from her C-section popped open because of coughing fits from the embolism. During surgery, doctors "found that a large hematoma had flooded her abdomen, the result of a medical Catch-22 in which the potentially lifesaving blood thinner caused hemorrhaging at the site of her C-section. She returned yet again to the OR to have a filter inserted into a major vein, to prevent more clots from dislodging and traveling into her lungs," Haskell writes. "Serena came home a week later only to find that the night nurse had fallen through, and she spent the first six weeks of motherhood unable to get out of bed."

Williams has, of course, recovered and settled into the routine of new motherhood while also marrying Ohanian in a lavish wedding in New Orleans. Tennis has not been far from her mind, either. She had targeted the Australian Open, which she won last year while only a few weeks pregnant, but that did not pan out after an exhibition match loss to Jelena Ostapenko last week.

"After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I'm not where I personally want to be," she said in a statement on Snapchat. "My coach and team always said, 'Only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way'. I can compete - but I don't want to just compete, I want to do far better than that and to do so I will need a little more time. With that being said, and even though I am disappointed about it, I've decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year.

"The memory of last year's Open is one that I will carry with me, and Olympia and I look forward to coming back again. I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian Open."


Man raises nearly $30,000 on GoFundMe to help Harlem kids see ‘Black Panther’

Marvel’s “Black Panther” is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and one New Yorker wants to make sure a group of Harlem kids get to see it.

» RELATED: 3 ways to score ‘Black Panther’ presale tickets in Atlanta

Frederick Joseph launched a GoFundMe earlier this month to help young students “see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life,” he wrote on the campaign’s page. 

“This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally,” he continued. 

Joseph set a lofty goal of $10,000 and has nearly tripled that amount, raking in $28,600 in just four days thanks to more than 700 contributors. 

» RELATED: Marvel's "Black Panther" trailer is worthy of superhero

While he initially planned to gift the money to 300 children from the Harlem Children’s Zone, the nonprofit, which expressed much gratitude, was unable to accept the money. The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem will now receive the donation.

“We want to thank the organizers of this great fundraiser. Your commitment will help our kids see how powerful they can be!” the organization said on its Facebook page

The funds will go toward purchasing tickets and refreshments for the children and chaperones. Remaining funds will be given to the Boys & Girls Club to help continue their work.

“Black Panther” hits theaters Feb. 16 nationwide. Tickets are on sale now.

» RELATED: ‘Black Panther’ actor reveals undocumented status

Who was Recy Taylor? Oprah mentions Alabama woman in Golden Globes speech

Oprah Winfrey’s powerful speech at the 75th Golden Globes Sunday inspired many around the country as she became the first black woman to receive the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award.

» RELATED: Oprah’s powerful Golden Globes speech (transcript, video)

During her speech, Winfrey highlighted the impact of racial discrimination and sexual abuse in women’s lives and dedicated her award to “all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault.”

» RELATED: Golden Globes center on politics, social issues this year

She mentioned one name in particular: Recy Taylor.

Who was Recy Taylor?

Taylor was a black woman from Abbeville, Alabama, who was abducted and then raped by six white men in 1944. 

The 24-year-old young mother was walking home from a church service when she was blindfolded, abducted, raped and left on the road.

» RELATED: Photos: 2018 Golden Globe Awards red carpet

The six white men were reportedly armed and had threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the attack.

Taylor did end up telling authorities, but like many attacks involving black victims during the Jim Crow era in the South, The New York Times reported, her case never went to trial. “Two all-white, all-male grand juries refused to indict the men, even though one of them had confessed,” according to the Times.

» RELATED: List of winners for 75th annual Golden Globe Awards

Renowned civil rights icon Rosa Parks, then a young activist with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was sent to investigate the case.

But it wasn’t until historian Danielle L. McGuire published the book “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — a New History of the Civil Rights Movement From Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power” in 2010 that the case gained the attention it deserved.

» RELATED: Atlanta connections among Golden Globe nominees

In 2011, the Alabama Legislature called the state’s failure to prosecute Taylor’s attackers “morally abhorrent and repugnant,” the Times reported.

On Thursday, Jan. 4, Taylor passed away in Abbeville, Alabama. She would have celebrated her 98th birthday Sunday.

» RELATED: Men? A sideshow at a Golden Globes that celebrated women

Her story was recently in the spotlight thanks to the film, “The Rape of Recy Taylor,” which made its U.S. debut at the New York Film Festival this fall.

The Hulk pays a visit to Ebenezer Baptist Church

Apparently even superheroes need to go to church.

Actor Mark Ruffalo, who is in Atlanta filming the  “Avengers,” stopped by Ebenezer Baptist Church for  Sunday services.

Senior Pastor Raphael G. Warnock posted a photo with Ruffalo on his Facebook page.

Related | Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo salute Atlanta eco superheroes

“Sooo, The Hulk came to worship today! Mark Ruffalo is such a super nice guy! He waited patiently for about an hour just to say hello to the pastor. Said he was inspired by the sermon. He inspired me. I may need to do a series of sermons based on the Avengers. ”

His congregation loved the post with one warning the pastor: “Whatever you do--don't make him angry!”

The film also stars Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth.

11 Atlanta events that honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

As the birthday of one of the most revered civil rights leaders in the country, , approaches, there are several Atlanta organizations that are hosting special events to salute Martin Luther King, Jr.’s  contributions to history and the powerful legacy of civil rights, activism and unity he left behind. 

»RELATED: Where to volunteer for MLK Day of Service 2018

Perhaps one of the most influential and empowering American heroes, King promoted social change through non-violence and sought to unify people through education, discussion and peaceful action.

Leading up to his birthday, Monday, Jan. 15, there are many ways to honor his legacy through programs, services and events in metro Atlanta. 

Martin Luther King 50 Forward. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12. Manuel Maloof Auditorium. 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur. 404-371-2000.

Join DeKalb County for their annual MLK program, "50 Forward: Together We Win with Love for Humanity," which will take place at Manuel Maloof Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 12.

5th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast. 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13. Shiloh Baptist Church Family Life Center. 253 Macon St., McDonough. 404-433-3290.

Celebrate MLK with a special Prayer Breakfast hosted by Shiloh Baptist Church Family Life Center on Saturday, Jan. 13. Bishop Michael A. Strickland from Victory Tabernacle Church International will be the guest speaker. 

MLK Race for the Dream Marathon, Half-Marathon and 20-Mile Bike Tour. 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 14. Booker T. Washington High School. 45 Whitehouse Drive, Atlanta. 404-564-3636.

Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. by taking part in a marathon, half-marathon or 20-mile bike ride. All participants will receive Finishers Medals at the Finish Line Festival.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Parade and Program. 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Sams Auditorium. 205 Layfayette Drive, Fayetteville. 678-997-0697.

The Fayette County NAACP, Fayette County Schools and local businesses and organizations will host a MLK birthday breakfast, parade and commemorative program on Monday, January 15th at Sams Auditorium. 

Gwinnett County 2018 MLK Parade and Celebration. 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Langley Drive in front of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center located at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville. Trolley service available at Central Gwinnett High School.

Join The United Ebony Society for one of the best MLK celebration in the south. The parade will feature school bands, community groups, sororities and fraternities and local businesses throughout the area. 

Children's Museum of Atlanta Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday Celebration. 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Children's Museum of Atlanta. 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive, Atlanta. 404-659-5437.

Help children understand why MLK was so important by taking them to the Children's Museum of Atlanta for an MLK birthday celebration. Kids will enjoy taking part in hands-on science and art projects, listen to a special storytime and hear Dr. King's famous speech, "I Have a Dream." 

Atlanta History Center Martin Luther King Jr. Day Program. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta. 404-814-4000.

The Atlanta History Center offers free admission on January 15th for their MLK program, which includes a film screening, Freedom Ride simulation, hands-on crafts and more. 

MLK Day 5K Let Freedom Run. 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Piedmont Park. 400 Park Drive NE, Atlanta.

Take part in the MLK Day 5K Let Freedom Run and enjoy listening to over 250 drummers along the course, taking part in dance warm-ups by Kim Armstrong, listening to old-fashioned preachers and supporting local charities. You'll even receive a t-shirt, enjoy free ice skating a free photography at this not-to-miss event. 

Sandy Springs Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Heritage Sandy Springs. 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. 770-730-5600.

Heritage Sandy Springs will host the Sandy Springs Annual Tribute to MLK this year, featuring emcee Oz Hill and Pastor Henry Bush of Sharon Community United Methodist Church

The King Center Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Ecumencial Commemorative Service. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Ebenezer Baptist Church. 101 Jackson St. NE, Atlanta. 404-526-8900.

Join The King Center for an ecumencial commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Monday, January 15th. Speakers include Dr. Bernice A. King from The King Center, Pastor David Yonggi Cho, Dr. Deborah A. Bartlett, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and City of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. 

King Week Holiday march and rally on Auburn Avenue. 2 p.m. Monday Jan 15, 2018. The march and rally begins at Auburn Avenue and Peachtree Street, ending at Auburn Avenue and Jackson Street. Free and open to the public.

MLK March Committee Annual Youth Conference. 10 a.m.- 2p.m. Monday,  Jan. 15, IBEW Auditorium, 501 Pulliam St. Atlanta. 404-525-3559.

James Edward Orange, founder of the MLK March Committee, was one of the first field staffers for King during the civil rights movement. Each year through the committee, Orange hosts the youth conference as a way to mobiilze young leaders.  The conference is free, but register by emailing

Groups plan to protest Trump at national championship game in Atlanta

At least two groups are organizing demonstrations to protest against President Donald Trump when he visits Atlanta Monday for the College Football Playoff title game. 

Refuse Fascism ATL says they'll "take a knee against Trump" outside CNN's world headquarters near the stadium at 6 p.m., which is shortly before Trump’s planned arrival to Mercedes-Benz Stadium and two hours before kickoff. 

The NAACP also said it plans to lead a protest before the game between the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia.

“Trump has made a terrible decision and is disrupting (the game) with his presence,” the NAACP’s local chapter said in a Facebook post on Sunday. “We respect those who choose to do so, and we fully expect some groups who will be protesting outside the game.”

The group did not say exactly where members will protest.

“We are presently working with a number of civil rights/social justice organizations and we will share additional plans as appropriate,” the NAACP said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week that Trump plans to attend the championship game between Georgia and Alabama. His decision led to changes in security and travel plans. 

His visit comes almost exactly a year after Trump tweeted that Atlanta is “horrible” and “crime infested,” drawing heavy pushback from several local officials.

In an appearance on MSNBC Sunday, Richard Rose, the president of the Atlanta NAACP chapter, referenced those comments and sent a message to Trump: if Atlanta is “so bad, don’t come,” he said.

The NAACP said protesters should wave white towels to mock the title of “snowflake” often bestowed on Trump’s critics. 


FX’s ‘Atlanta’ season 2 (‘Atlanta Robbin’ Season’) returns March 1, 2018

ATLANTA — The Big Bang — Episode 101 (Airs Tuesday, September 6, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Donald Glover as Earnest Marks, Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred Miles, Keith Standfield as Darius. CR: Guy D’Alema/FX

Posted Friday, January 5, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The Emmy-winning series “Atlanta” took 2017 off because creator Donald Glover was too busy starring in upcoming “Spider-Man” and “Star Wars” films. But in recent weeks, he’s been finally filming the second season of the show with ten more episodes planned.

FX today finally announced a return date: Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 10 p.m.

I have not been able to procure a set visit or talk to any cast members yet. They are keeping a tight lid on what’s going on but the name of the show has been changed, which is open to interpretation: “Atlanta Robbin’ Season.”

The critically acclaimed first season was a quirky blend of comedy, drama and surreal moments, providing America a very different look at the city than shows like “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.” Although Glover hasn’t lived in the area for many years, he did grow up in Stone Mountain and graduated from the DeKalb School of the Arts.

People are panning British Vogue’s ‘race’ issue that features two white actresses

Right in time for Black History Month, British Vogue is opening up the race conversation with its February issue. The magazine’s cover, featuring actresses Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, is perhaps sparking a different conversation than intended, because critics are panning the cover as “disappointing” and lacking diversity.

The sneak peek of the February edition touts the coverline “Why we need to talk about race,” yet the cover features two chic white starlets. The diachotomy has many folks criticizing Vogue’s new editor Edward Enninful, the first black gay editor of the mag, for not keeping a promise he made that diversity would reign in the #NewVogue era.

The February cover comes on the heels of Vogue’s December issue, which featured Taylor Swift. Many dissed her cover as predictable and another lackluster choice if diversity is the aim for Vogue editors.

Though the February cover lacks diversity, the inside cover reveals a wider spectrum of “women continuing the fight for equality,” including journalist Paris Lees, author Reni Eddo-Lodge and Muslim blogger Dina Tokio.

The past two British Vogue covers were particularly disappointing to some fashion readers due to Enninful’s debut edition in November, which highlighted British model and activist Adwoa Aboah, according to the Independent.

Enninful has previously said Vogue would be all “about  being inclusive.”

Enninful has not yet responded to the criticism. 

The February issue of British Vogue goes on sale Friday.

Now casting: ‘Super Fly’ filming Luda Day Weekend scene

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Are you ready to make your mark on Atlanta’s film and TV industry? Are you the next Tyler Perry? ATL is in need of young stars. Check out the Peach City’s latest casting call for your chance at fame. 

» RELATED: 9 big movies filming in Georgia in 2017

‘Super Fly’ 

Sony has bought the rights to a remake of the classic 1972 blaxploitation film “Superfly.” Director X (aka Julien Christian Lutz) is in talks to direct the film, according to Alex Tse (“Watchmen”) is writing the screenplay, and Joel Silver is producing.

What are they looking for?

The following roles are being cast:

  • Featured bodyguards – African-American or Latino men ages 21 to 50 who look intimidating (Subject: BODYGUARD)
  • Hip, cool or hot men and women – African-American, Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern and Caucasian men and women age 18 to 40. If you’re a smoker or are willing to smoke an herbal tobacco substitute on camera, include this information in your submission. (Subject: FLY)
  • Drug neighborhood residents – African-American men and women ages 18 to 70, preferably with a car that can be used. Beater cars are ideal. (Subject: “DRUG HOOD”)
  • LudaDay weekend scene – African-American men and women age 18 to 40. Cars may be used, and racing/fast models are especially needed. (Subject: “LUDADAY NIGHT”)

» RELATED: This is what it's really like to work as an extra in Atlanta

When are they filming?

Filming is in Atlanta on the following dates: 

  • Featured bodyguards – mid-January for two dates and then in February for two more
  • Hip, cool or hot men and women – various days between Jan. 16 and March 2
  • Drug neighborhood residents – around Jan. 19 or 20, possibly at night
  • LudaDay weekend scene – around Jan. 25-26 and at night

How much does it pay?

Pay is as follows:

  • Bodyguards - $100 for eight hours, with overtime after that
  • Hip, cool or hot men and women - $100 for eight hours, with overtime after that
  • Drug neighborhood residents – to be determined, with a $25 car bump
  • LudaDay weekend scene – to be determined, with a $25 car bump for regular models and $75 for race/fast car models

How do I submit?

Send an e-mail to with the correct subject line. Include the following in a list format in the body of your email: first and last legal name, email address, city and state, age, height, weight and all sizes. List any tattoos or piercings (where, how large, etc.) and include a resume or any dance, acting or set experience as an extra.

Include three or four current, in-focus photos with a neutral background and good lighting. One should be from the chest or shoulders up, one from the knees up or full length and one or two of you looking the part if possible. Including photos of you smiling and not smiling. Your hairstyle and facial hair should look the same way it currently does.

» RELATED: Take these classes and workshops to break into Georgia's film and TV industry


How to get tickets for the national African American history museum

Since opening on Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has generated demand for tickets the likes of which are usually reserved for hit plays, popular concerts, or major sporting events. About three million people have already visited the NMAAHC, which is the newest museum in the Smithsonian Institution and houses close to 37,000 rare artifacts within three stories.

NMAAHC timed-entry passes are released the first Wednesday of each month.

These include historical items such as Nat Turner's Bible and a shawl worn by Harriett Tubman, as well as documents, photography and other materials.

» Read John Lewis’ powerful speech at opening of the national African American museum

The NMAAHC also celebrates popular culture with items such parts of the "Oprah" set, but it also contains some items – such photographs of lynchings - that show the violence that has been directed toward African Americans. These items are located within red lines to advise viewers of their content.

Not only is demand for tickets high, visitors tend to spend a lot of time in the museum once they get in. The museum's associate director told in November that while most venues have a "dwell" time of an hour and 45 minutes to two hours, visitors are spending up to six hours exploring. It's already an important part of many people's list of things to do in Washington, D.C. 

How you can visit the museum

Free NMAAHC timed passes – each of which has unique code and can only be used once - are available online through ETIX. Officials caution visitors that passes that aren't obtained by walking up to the museum or online via ETIX for the African American museum may be counterfeit.

You won't be admitted prior to the time on your pass, but if you're late getting to the museum and miss the time on the pass, you can go later that same day. If the NMAAHC is already at capacity, you'll have to wait until room is available.

»RELATED: 9 iconic black history landmarks to visit near Georgia

There are four types of timed entry passes:

Same-day online

You can look online daily beginning at 6 a.m. and claim up to four passes for the same day. They're available until they run out.


Because weekends are so popular, walk-up passes aren't available for Saturdays or Sundays. During the week, a limited number of walk-up passes at one per person are available starting at 1 p.m. They're given out on the Madison Drive side of the museum.

Advance online

If you're planning a trip from Atlanta in advance and want to make sure you can get tickets before you go, this option is your best bet. If you're able to obtain advanced-entry passes, you can claim up to six. They're timed at 15-minute intervals, and everyone – even infants – entering the museum will need a pass.

KKK linked to notorious Georgia lynching

For decades, many speculated the Ku Klux Klan played a part in the unsolved 1946 mob lynching of two young Georgia couples at Moore’s Ford bridge in Walton County, and now documents reviewed by the AJC give credence to that theory.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation re-opened the cold case 17 years ago and buried in the agency’s files is a reference to local Klan rosters unearthed a decade ago. The records reveal at least four suspects from the original FBI investigation were members of the Walton County Klan in the 1930s and 1940s. A fifth man — listed on a 1939 roster as the top local Klan leader — was a prominent white funeral director in Monroe where the victims bodies were first taken immediately after murders.

The AJC discovered the revelation when it gained access to the GBI’s 600-page case file. To read more about the investigation into America’s last mass lynching go to this link at

'Gangsta' vs 'gangster': mispronunciation costs Jeopardy contestant

It's too bad this Jeopardy contestant isn't from Boston.

Nick Spicher answered a question on the New Year's Day episode of the show, and got it right - at first.

>> Read more trending news 

But after a minute, the judges retracted the money awarded to him - because of a pronunciation error.

The contestants received this clue: "A song by Coolio from 'Dangerous Minds' goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic."

Spicher was the first to the buzzer, and answered "Gangster's Paradise Lost." He won the $1,600 reward for the answer.

But after a minute - the judges came back and said he did not answer the question correctly.

"Our judges have re-evaluated one of your responses a few minutes ago, Nick," host Alex Trebek said. "You said 'gangster's' instead of 'gangsta's' on that song by Coolio, so we take $3,200 away from you. You are now in second place."

The show later explained its decision on its website.

"It turns out that 'gangsta' and 'gangster' are both listed separately in the Oxford English Dictionary, each with its own unique definition. Nick changed not only the song's title, but also its meaning - making his response unacceptable."

Is Black Twitter boycotting ‘Black Panther’ because Michael B. Jordan isn’t dating a black woman? 

Many are anticipating the Feb. 18 release of Marvel’s “Black Panther.” However, people are losing it on social media, after many tweeps began accusing black women of boycotting the movie because of actor Michael B. Jordan's alleged girlfriend.

» RELATED: Marvel's "Black Panther" trailer is worthy of superhero excitement

The star was recently spotted with someone suspected to be his girlfriend. When pictures of the duo hit the internet, many were reportedly outraged that the woman pictured was not black and threatened to boycott his upcoming movie. 

In November, Jordan shared the biggest rumor he’d heard about himself. He said it was “that I don’t date black women.”

Despite disputing that rumor, several were quick to share their thoughts about the 30-year-old’s personal life. A few criticized him and other black actors for not dating within their race. 

» RELATED: Marvel's ‘Black Panther’ starring Chadwick Boseman releases trailer 

On the contrary, many people’s support of the flick did not waver. They said they still plan to flock to the theaters, and some even accused the critics for not condemning other black celebrities who’ve dated outside of their race.


Several noted they saw lots of people saying black women were boycotting “Black Panther,” but they weren’t actually hearing about the protest from black women.

Then, there were some who thought the entire idea of a boycott was bogus, calling it fake news. 

» RELATED: ‘Black Panther’ actor reveals undocumented status

Anchors nationwide wear red to honor Amanda Davis & promote stroke awareness


Posted Tuesday, January 2, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Amanda Davis, the CBS46 morning anchor who died of a sudden stroke last week at age 62, is getting much love from several black female anchors across the country wearing red in her honor and to promote stroke awareness.

They are posting with the trending Twitter hashtag #RedforAmanda. The American Heart Association said signs of a possible stroke include slurring of words, arm weakness and face drooping.

A stroke happens when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off and the longer the delay of treatment, the likelier the person will die.

African-American women are more likely to have a stroke than any other racial group of women and twice as likely as white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Black women are also more prone to severe strokes at younger ages.

The CDC said black women, compared to other women, on average possess blood pressure, consume more salt, suffer from Sickle-cell anemia and have greater rates of obesity and diabetes.

I'm wearing #RedForAmanda Davis, the former CBS46 Atlanta anchor who died from a stroke last week. #StrokeAwareness fact: High blood pressure, a main risk factor for stroke, often starts at a younger age and is more severe in African-American women. #goredforwomen — Tearsa Smith WATE 6 (@TearsaSmith) January 2, 2018 Several news anchors nationwide are wearing #redforamanda today to honor ATL news anchor #AmandaDavis , who died Wednesday from complications after a stroke, and to raise awareness about stroke. Remember the word FAST. You could save a life…>>> #rva — Karla Redditte (@KarlaNBC12) January 2, 2018 @American_Heart: #Stroke affects the arteries leading to & within the brain. It's the #5 cause of death & leading cause of disability in the U.S. Today I am wearing #RedForAmanda. Legendary #Atlanta TV anchor @AmandaCBS46 died suddenly from a massive stroke. #StrokeAwareness — Iris St. Meran (@IrisOnTV) January 2, 2018 Today is public viewing for @AmandaCBS46 @Cityofatlanta news anchor, who died suddenly of a stroke Nationwide, black female journalists wearing #RedforAmanda &raising #StrokeAwareness Know @American_Heart signs Face drooping Arm weakness Speech difficulty Time to call 911 — Beairshelle Edmé (@BeairshelleWNCN) January 2, 2018 Today I am wearing #RedforAmanda and #StrokeAwareness in honor of Amanda Davis, the CBS Atlanta news anchor who died from a massive stroke last week. Did you know #heartdisease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.? — Rodneya Ross (@RodneyaRossWHIZ) January 2, 2018 In honor of #AmandaDavis I wear red today for #StrokeAwareness #redforAmanda — Eunice Elliott (@EuniceWVTM13) January 2, 2018

Photos: Xscape celebrates the New Year at Philips Arena

Reunited R&B quartet Xscape, featuring “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kandi Burruss, helped a packed Philips Arena ring in the New Year. They had help from Tamar Braxton, Monica and more. Check out our photos from the show.

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