This week, I’m in Atlanta at the National Archives. They have the records from the Federal Court in Knoxville where the various cases related to the desegregation of Clinton, TN, High School were heard.

At first, the archivists seemed skeptical that they would find anything for me. And then the documents came raining down. The archivists kept wheeling out BOXES of information. In all, there are close to 3000 pages of court transcripts for me to wade through.

*sigh* I love my research, and I know that I need these sorts of documents for my dissertation, but seriously … will I ever plow through all these pages? Perhaps I should go back to writing fiction. Something totally made up that requires no court records.

On a lighter note, I did steal away from my research one afternoon to see the King Center. I have vague childhood memories of visiting Atlanta and seeing something related to Martin Luther King Jr., and I think that Dad made my sister and I listen to a tape of one of King’s speeches on the drive home from that weekend. Or did the tape follow our visit to the abandoned Lorraine Motel …

Anyway, after I toured the King Center, I decided to wander the surrounding neighborhood. I love trying to see what life is like “behind” the scenes designed for tourists. During my walk, I passed a sign for the Georgia Justice Project. I ducked inside to a) hear more about what they do and b) get a recommendation for a good place to eat. From what I have tasted, there is a surprising dearth of good fried chicken in the Triangle, so whenever I leave home, I try to find a meat-n-three that will fill my cravings.

A very sweet lady came out to greet me. She told me she came from the Auburn neighborhood, and she told me a bit about the GJP’s work to break cycles of crime and poverty in their community (to read more about their projects, visit http://www.gjp.org).

As to my second request, well, she took one look at me and sent me to a trendy new spot where two young white guys with carefully mussed hair fed me the best chicken salad with arugula and preserved lemon on ciabatta I’ve ever eaten. Not what I wanted, but an entertaining twist to my afternoon that fit nicely with the two individuals who stopped me as I walked to ask, “Sweetie, are you lost?” I guess I look like a very white white girl.


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