Stone Mountain, Georgia, was for decades famous as the stomping grounds of the Klan in the 20th century. But over the last 30 years, the Atlanta suburb has transitioned into a working class African American community. This election season, local churches organized their first "souls to the polls" effort here. I had the privilege to attend church and then head to the polls 9 days before the elections. From my story:
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga — For his sermon on Sunday, Reverend Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel chose the story of Barabbas for what he saw as an historic day.
According to the Gospel of St. Mark, each year the people of Jerusalem were allowed to set free one prisoner condemned to death. “On this particular year, [Pontius Pilate] put one question on the ballot before the public. Shall I release to you Jesus or Barabbas?” the reverend told his congregation. “The people voted unanimously to free Barabbas and then to crucify Christ.”
“Everybody had a vote,” Samuel said, his voice so loud it vibrated through the pews. “And Jesus did not receive one vote"...
During my trip to Georgia, I also wrote about the growing divide and mutual suspicion between the state's urban minority communities and conservative, rural white population. Lastly, I sat down with state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams to talk about her plan to turn Georgia blue by 2020.