What Would Gene Patterson Say Now?

First Baptist Decatur Sanctuary presented by AJC

Saturday, 5:30-6:15

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.


Roy Peter Clark

Roy Peter Clark is senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, one of the most prestigious schools for journalists in the world. He has taught writing at every level—to schoolchildren and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors—for more than 30 years. A writer who teaches and a teacher who writes, he has authored or edited 17 books on writing and journalism, including How to Write Short, Writing Tools, The Glamour of Grammar and Help! for Writers. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Hank Klibanoff

Hank Klibanoff, who won a Pulitzer Prize for a book about the news coverage of the civil rights struggle in the South, is Professor of Practice in Creative Writing/nonfiction at Emory University. He also serves as director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory University (coldcases.emory.edu), for which undergraduates are examining Georgia history through the prism of unsolved or unpunished racially motivated murders that occurred in the state during the modern civil rights era. A native of Alabama, Klibanoff joined Emory at the close of a 36-year career in newspapers in Mississippi and at The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he had served as managing editor for news. Klibanoff and his co-author, Gene Roberts, won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in history for their book, The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation.

Howell Raines

Howell Raines began his journalism career in Alabama in 1964, working, respectively, for the Birmingham Post-Herald, WBRC -TV, the Tuscaloosa News, and the Birmingham News. He joined the Atlanta Constitution in 1971 and was political editor in 1973-74. In 1976, He was hired by Eugene Patterson as the political editor of the St.Petersburg Times, covering Jimmy Carter’s presidential candidacy. He joined the Atlanta bureau of the New York Times in 1978. In his 25 years on the Times, he served as Atlanta Bureau Chief, National Political Correspondent, London Bureau Chief, Washington Editor, Editorial Page Editor (1993-2001) and Executive Editor (2001-2003). In 1993, he won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for “Grady’s Gift,” a New York Times Magazine article describing his friendship with Grady Richardson, a black housekeeper employed by my family, during the era of segregation. He has written four books: Whiskey Man (a novel), My Soul Is Rested (a history of the civil rights movement) and Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis and The One That Got Away (memoirs). His wife Krystyna Stachowiak Raines, a journalist and public-relations executive; they split their time between homes in Fairhope, AL and Henryville, PA.

Andrew Young


Andrew J. Young has earned worldwide recognition as a pioneer in and champion of civil and human rights. Ambassador Young’s lifelong dedication to service is illustrated by his extensive leadership experience of over 65 years, serving as a member of Congress, African American U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Mayor of Atlanta, and ordained minister, among other positions.

During the 1960s, Young was a key strategist and negotiator during civil rights campaigns that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Appointed as an Ambassador to the United Nations in 1977, Young negotiated an end to white-minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe and brought President Carter's emphasis on human rights to international diplomacy efforts. As two-term Mayor of Atlanta, Young brought in over 1,100 businesses, over 70 billion in foreign direct investments and generated over a million jobs.

Ambassador Young has received honorary degrees from more than 100 universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad and has received various awards, including an Emmy Lifetime Achievement award in 2011 and the Dan Sweat Award in 2017. His portrait also became part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Ambassador Young also serves on a number of boards, including, but not limited to, the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, United Nations Foundation, Morehouse College, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State and Americas Mart. In 2003, he and his wife Carolyn McClain Young founded the Andrew J. Young Foundation to support and promote education, health, leadership and human rights in the U.S., Africa, and the Caribbean.

In 2012, Young retired from GoodWorks International, LLC, after well over a decade of facilitating sustainable economic development in the business sectors of the Caribbean and Africa. Young was born in 1932 in New Orleans, and he currently lives in Atlanta with his wife, Carolyn McClain. He is also a father of three daughters and one son, and a grandfather of eight


Hank Klibanoff