Thousands of people convened on Tech Square in Atlanta’s Midtown for the 10th annual Taste of Atlanta October 22-23. With delicacies like duck fried rice, gyros, fall off the bone ribs and grilled corn, the event offered a taste from over 80 restaurants.
by Shermika Dunner
Imagine being so afraid for your life that you can't leave your seat. Angry mobs await with tear gas, baseball bats and, even worse, guns. Racial epithets are hurled, and instead of state or governmental protection, you are at the mercy of the mob.
These images are not imaginary, but frightenly real. They occurred during May through November of 1961 all over the Deep South and were experienced by the Freedom Riders. The Freedom Riders were a group of Americans, black and white, from a myriad of backgrounds, who shared a common thread: the desire to effect change and have blacks treated as equals. The Freedom Riders rode integrated buses into the segregated South to challenge Boynton vs. Virginia, a Supreme Court decision that made it unlawful to have racial segregation in restaurants and bus stations.
Birmingham, Alabama, is synonyomous with the Civil Rights era, and mentions of the city often conjure memories of Bull Conner, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and an endless array of faces that are unknown and unsung. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the brave Freedom Riders, the Birmingham History Center is showing a traveling exhibit that tells the story of the
by Shermika Dunner
What's 13 and gets bigger, better and wiser with each year? Sidewalk Film Festival, heralded as one of the greatest independent film festivals in the Southeast, welcomed moviegoers to Birmingham's theater district August 26-28. I had the pleasure of attending and managed to see quite a few films that are either about the South or have a Southern connection.
“The Reconstruction of Asa Carter” is a documentary that profiles the life of Asa Carter, a KKK leader from Alabama who fibbed about being a Native American in a memoir he wrote. Utilizing the name Forrest Carter, he wrote "The Education of Little Tree," which chronicled his life as a Cherokee orphan. To date, the book has sold over a million copies and is regarded as one of the first books in the Native American literature genre. The documentary's subject matter is intriguing, considering Carter was the speechwriter for George Wallace, but lacks appeal and left many unanswered questions. The film did explore Carter’s life in the KKK but glossed over what happened after it was discovered he was not a Native American. I regret choosing this one over "Sahkanaga,” but that's always the dilemma at film festivals.
Next up, “Leaving
by Shermika Dunner
Thanks to an offer from Crowd Surf, I was fortunate to see Amos Lee’s April 29 performance at Workplay in Birmingham, Alabama. His music combines blues, folk, soul and more, and the sold-out crowd was overjoyed to hear it after all the devastation from an F5 tornado that recently tore through Southern states, hitting Alabama the hardest.
Some songs Lee performed included, “Colors,” “Careless” and “Truth,” in addition to those from his latest album, "Mission Bell." People were tapping their bare feet after kicking off their shoes, and Lee was well received by the ladies, as they gushed about being so close to the stage and sung along to his tunes. He hails from Philadelphia, but definitely has Southern influences in his speech and music. (He greeted the crowd with a cheerful, “Hey y’all.”)
In July, Lee will go on tour with Lake Charles, Louisiana, native Lucinda Williams, but for now Southerners can see him during tour stops in Roanoke, Richmond, New Orleans, Memphis, Asheville, Myrtle Beach, Gulf Shores, Manchester, and parts of Florida. Visit amoslee.com to find out when he'll be in a city near you.
Crowd Surf is an online music marketing company that focuses on utilizing social