Entries by Jamil Zainaldin

Julius Rosenwald gave the gift of education to rural African American communities

Where did Congressman John Lewis, age 77, learn to read? In a Rosenwald school. Where did the great poet Maya Angelou, who died at the age of 86, get her schooling? In a Rosenwald school. This is the story of the philanthropic origins of the Rosenwald schools, built in the early 20th century in rural African American communities across the South.

The common roots of philanthropy and democracy

“Philanthropy” is a familiar word in the English language. It has roots in ancient Greek and means “love of mankind.”

Philanthropy is not quite the same thing as the more traditional “charity,” which is a commandment of all the world’s great religions to care for the poor and disadvantaged.

Philanthropy, as the ancient Greeks understood it, was “love of humanity.” It was not a duty to the less fortunate as charity is. It was for the benefit of the public as a whole — all the people.

The Atlanta Music Festival reprises one of the city’s great traditions

This week, GARY HAUK, university historian and senior adviser to the president at Emory University, reflects on the Atlanta Music Festival and its tradition of building unity through the arts.

By Gary Hauk

It’s a little-known secret that while Atlanta may have been “the city too busy to hate,” it has also been, for more than a century, a city too cultured to divide. The people have come together for art and music, theater and dance, just as much as for any baseball game or gridiron rivalry. The arts have brought together Atlantans from every neighborhood who otherwise might have little occasion to gather.

The book festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center has made Atlanta a great place to learn, grow, and reflect for 25 years

This week, ALLISON HUTTON, of Georgia Humanities, reflects on the impact of the book festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

From the Civil War to the boll weevil to the civil rights movement, the Atlanta we know today was anything but inevitable. In the late 19th century, New South boosters like newspaper editor Henry W. Grady believed that industry and education could help Atlanta grow and prosper. Buy-in from other Atlantans wasn’t enough, though. The city’s boosters knew they needed to share its potential with investors from the North. This initially happened through events like fairs and expositions. In the 20th century, it happened through marketing campaigns, notably Forward Atlanta, and investments in the city’s cultural life.

The story of a stunt pilot who became an unsung war hero

This week, ALLISON HUTTON, of Georgia Humanities, shares the story of Georgia aviatrix Hazel Raines and her contributions to World War II.

The Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame calls Hazel Raines the “First Lady of Flight.” This is an accurate description on many counts: Raines was the first woman in Georgia to earn a pilot’s license (in the late 1930s), one of the first group of women chosen by the British Air Transport Auxiliary as ferry pilots for the Royal Air Force in 1942, as well as one of the first WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots).

During the Korean War, Raines was the first female reserve pilot called into active duty.

Auburn Avenue Research Library offers resources for and by the community

This week, in honor of Georgia Archives Month, REBECCA SHERMAN, project archivist at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, explores the newly renovated Auburn Avenue Research Library.

When the AARLreopened its doors this past August, the library’s staff and supporters envisioned the newly renovated space as an ideal location for hosting community cultural events. On Oct. 11, this vision came to fruition when a crowd gathered there for an event that highlighted collaborations between academic institutions, public libraries, and community organizations.

Sharing and saving community stories

This week, SHANEE’ MURRAIN, University Archivist at the University of West Georgia, explains how the university library’s Special Collections department empowers communities to tell their own stories.

As a recent transplant to the area and as the University Archivist harged with capturing, preserving, and making accessible content that is administratively and culturally significant to the University of West Georgia campus, I delight in hearing folk thoughtfully share the stories of their lives.

Uncovering hidden history

This week, ELYSE HILL, a professional genealogist, shares the stories of African American lives she’s uncovered in the archives.

As a genealogy researcher I’m always looking for records and documents that provide unique information about the lives of African Americans in the South. I’ve been fortunate to have found some interesting information about pre-Civil War free and enslaved persons in various resources housed in various archives. These stories offer a glimpse into the lives of African Americans and range from before the Civil War, when most were enslaved, to the war itself, to freedom.

Lessons learned from football — the Willie Davis effect

This week, BILL CURRY, a former NFL football player and college coach, shares how interracial friendship and cooperation on the football field changed his life. This is part four in a series of sports stories in association with “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” a traveling Smithsonian exhibition sponsored by Georgia Humanities.

In light of recent events that have traumatized every person of good will, and in the spirit of our “Hometown Teams” exhibition, I would like to relate a story about a football team, a terrified youngster, and a great man.

Shakespeare and the business model that made his plays must-reads

This week, in anticipation of the arrival of Shakespeare’s First Folio in Atlanta, JUSTIN SHAW, a graduate student at Emory University, shares the stories of the first four Shakespeare folios and their place in seventeenth-century culture.

What is the big deal with Shakespeare’s Second Folio (1632)? Or the Third (1663/4) or Fourth (1685) for that matter? For starters, they tell us about English print culture and help us understand the rise of Shakespeare from a producer of popular entertainment to a literary icon known the world over.

The reproductive rights movement has deep roots in Georgia

This week, ELLEN G. RAFSHOON, a professor of history at Georgia Gwinnett College, reveals Georgia’s role in the history of reproductive rights in America.

Civil liberties lawyers and obstetricians in Atlanta are collaborating to stop enforcement of Georgia’s 20-week abortion ban. In challenging the “fetal pain” law, they represent a largely unheralded tradition of reproductive rights advocacy in Georgia that has been as fervent as the opposition. Few are aware, however, that these activists based mostly in Atlanta have had a major impact on extending women’s access to birth control and abortion throughout the United States.

How the dome got its gold

This week, ALLISON HUTTON, of Georgia Humanities, traces the history of our state capitol’s distinctive gold dome.

If the sight of the gold dome atop our capitol inspires you, that’s a good thing. It should. Most state capitols are topped with domes, but of those, only ten are gilded. We have one of the largest here in Atlanta, but it wasn’t always gold. This is the story of how the dome got its gold.

AJC-Decatur Book Festival celebrates journalists, novelists, visionaries, and hip hop artists—reflecting a changing Atlanta

This week, DAREN WANG, founder and executive director of the AJC-Decatur Book Festival, discusses Atlanta’s changing literary scene.

The 11th annual AJC-Decatur Book Festival is happening this weekend, September 2-4. A few of the Atlanta writers we’ll be celebrating are Thomas Mullen, Jericho Brown, Joshilyn Jackson, Hank Klibanoff, Natasha Trethewey, Jessica Handler, Melissa Fay Greene, Tom Lux, and Kevin Young. Poets. Journalists. Novelists. Memoirists. Visionaries. Hip hop artists. These are the writers Atlanta should be celebrating.

We can rebuild it — 3D technology offers hope for the survival of our most endangered cultural assets

This week, RODNEY MIMS COOK JR., founder and president of the National Monuments Foundation and Millennium Gate Museum, discusses the value of 3D printing as a preservation tool.

Many individuals and states throughout time have sought to destroy the past and the shared history that unites us. Through 3D printing technology, the National Monuments Foundation is determined to ensure that global cultural assets — our inheritance of cultural treasures that document the lives, history, and creativity of our ancestors — remains with us and part of the human experience.

The Galloway School uncovers and honors building’s past as Fulton’s poorhouse

This week, BETH FAROKHI, a retired educator, recounts The Galloway School’s efforts to recognize the historic past of its campus.

Just as every person has a unique story, every building has a distinctive story to tell. The longer a building stands, the more stories it gathers. The rich memories may be hidden, but uncovering one story at a time brings life into its walls, ceilings, and floors. Walking through the doors or peering through the windows only reveals a small inkling of what treasures are lying in wait. Peeling back the layers of years and occupants and learning what happened within the building from those who witnessed its history brings a structure to life in ways that are surprising and fill the blank pages within its walls.

Early investments helped make Georgia a tourist destination

This week, GEORGIA HUMANITIES introduces “Seeing Georgia: Changing Visions of Tourism in Modern Georgia,” a digital exhibition that explores the development of tourism in Georgia.

With attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, the Savannah Book Festival, and museums and preserved historic properties located across the state, it should come as little surprise that tourism is one of Georgia’s top industries. “Seeing Georgia: Changing Visions of Tourism in Modern Georgia,” a digital exhibition developed in 2015 by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia, explores how Georgia’s tourism industry developed and transformed the state from a stop along the route to Florida to a place worth visiting in itself.