Snitches, riches and crime: No easy answers to questions in wired world

JaTawn Robinson is one of many parents fighting the cross-currents of modern culture as she rears her three young sons. Signs of the currents abound in metro Atlanta.

In her southwest Atlanta neighborhood, Robinson said, children learn from each other that it’s wrong to “snitch” on criminals.

This weekend in Buckhead, Macy’s Lenox Square is hosting the rapper Lil Wayne to promote a Trukfit clothing line. Wayne’s website depicts him smoking what the caption calls a “huge joint.” Wayne’s portrayal of gang culture – particularly the Bloods – prompted MTV and BET to ban from their airwaves the video he and the artist Game released in 2011.

50th Commemoration: Reed, Obama discuss youth violence as world prepares for bell-ringing at 3 p.m.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was among the group of 18 mayors who met Tuesday at the White House with President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss strategies to reduce youth violence.

The meeting came as some in the nation are looking for ways to continue to the spirit of progress observed in the 50th commemoration, on Wednesday, of the March on Washington and its message of jobs, justice and freedom.

In Atlanta, city council President Ceasar Mitchell has urged those in the city, and nation, to join in the “Let Freedom Ring” celebration. At precisely 3 p.m., local time, bells and devices that sound like bells are set to ring across the globe, according to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.


Photo of Brandy Brown Rhodes cutting the ribbon dedicating the Derwin Brown Police Precinct on June 28.

After assassination, Brown family seeks peace and truth amid more loss

Brandy Brown Rhodes and her siblings lost their police captain father to a dramatic execution-style hit in the driveway of his home in a southeastern suburb of Atlanta. They lost their mom more privately, when she died of a stroke. There have been other losses, too.

Last week, as a new police precinct next to South DeKalb Mall was dedicated to their dad—sheriff-elect Derwin Brown—Rhodes and her siblings talked about weathering a series of emotional hits, after the violent one that claimed their dad. Unlike most adult children who have lost a parent, the Brown children have spent a dozen years sorting out their dad’s legacy amid lingering questions about how he died, while processing the deaths of other family members.

“I think the hard part about it is coming to peace that both of my parents are gone and I have to look at this world differently now,” Rhodes, 34, said.