Reading about Atlanta at the Decatur Book Festival

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the eleventh annual Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the county.

Festival sponsors include many Atlanta Studies Network partner institutions, including Emory University and Emory Libraries, Georgia Tech, the Atlanta History Center, and more. Though there are far too many amazing sessions to choose from, we here at Atlanta Studies thought we might recommend a few events featuring authors talking specifically about Atlanta, including many we have interviewed or whose books we have reviewed.

Saturday, September 2, 10:00–10:45 am

Atlanta and the Civil Rights Movement: 1944–1968

Karcheik Sims-Alvarado

Marriott Conference Center C

Historian Karcheik Sims-Alvarado introduces us to the people and events in Atlanta that challenged the status quo and pushed the modern civil rights movement into a new chapter where young men and women became the voice of social unrest.

Saturday, September 2, 11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Atlanta Noir

Jim Grimsley, Anthony Grooms, Sheri Joseph, Alesia Parker, John Holman

Decatur City Hall

Atlanta is one of America’s most dynamic and fastest-growing cities, with an increasingly diverse population. Atlanta Noir honors the city’s transformation – albeit in a chilling manner – with a highly talented crew of contributors who know the city inside and out.

Saturday, September 2, 12:30–1:15 pm

Potlikker Papers

John T. Edge

Marriott Conference Center A

Potlikker is a quintessential Southern dish, and The Potlikker Papers is a people’s history of the modern South, told through its food. Beginning with the pivotal role cooks and waiters played in the civil rights movement, noted authority John T. Edge narrates the South’s fitful journey from a hive of racism to a hotbed of American immigration. He shows why working-class Southern food has become a vital driver of contemporary American cuisine.

Saturday, September 2, 1:45–2:30 pm

The Impact of Changing Atlanta

Hannah Palmer and Mark Pendergrast

Decatur Library

In Hannah Palmer’s Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World’s Busiest Airport and Mark Pendergrast’s City on the Verge: Atlanta and the Fight for America’s Urban Future, these authors pay homage to Atlanta’s past, examine the development of the present, and offer a few speculations about urban development in the city’s future.

Saturday, September 2, 3:00–3:45pm

Andrew Young and the Making of Modern Atlanta

Harvey Newman and Andrea Young

First Baptist Decatur Carreker Hall

Andrew Young and the Making of Modern Atlanta tells the story of the decisions that shaped Atlanta’s growth from a small, provincial Deep South city to an international metropolis impacting and influencing global affairs. Listen to Andrea Young, Andrew Young’s daughter and noted attorney and public policy advocate, and Harvey Newman, professor emeritus in the department of Public Management and Policy at Georgia State University, discuss the incredible impact Andrew Young had on Atlanta, the South, and the world.

Saturday, September 2, 5:30–6:15pm

What would Gene Patterson say now?

Hank Klibanoff, Howell Raines, Roy Peter Clark

First Baptist Decatur Sanctuary

Fifty years after Atlanta Constitution editor Gene Patterson won the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, panelists who knew and worked with him will consider how Patterson would craft his commentaries today. Raised in Adel, Georgia, Patterson was tough enough to serve in General Patton’s Army, sage enough to write Atlanta Constitution columns aimed directly at fence-straddling whites in the midst of white supremacist violence, and principled enough at The Washington Post to square up against the Nixon administration over publication of the Pentagon Papers. Knowing what we know, and can read in his papers at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library at Emory, we will explore what he would think, what he would write, and how he would manage a newsroom today.