The boys in the photograph above stand in front of the historic First African Baptist Church in Dublin, Georgia, my hometown. Fifteen-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his first public speech in 1944 in this sanctuary. He decried the decision barring Marian Anderson from singing in Constitution Hall.
In this photograph a couple of Atlantans enjoy the day at the annual Burkhart’s Pub Easter Drag Races.
These two image portray the sometimes complementary, sometimes contradictory, and always complicated nature of my beloved state, which after all was named for a king who once spoke nonsense for 58 straight hours.
As the door closes on 2014, I’ve collected some of my favorite images that have appeared on these pages in the past 12 months. Some you’ve seen before and some are making a debut.
These photos are included in a book I created called The Road Leads Back: An Ode to Georgia. Scroll down to learn more about the book.
“My version of ‘Georgia’ became the state song of Georgia. That was a big thing for me, man. It really touched me. Here is a state that used to lynch people like me suddenly declaring my version of a song as its state song. That was touching.” – Ray Charles
Below, Tana Smith was walking along Highway 17 in Chatham County. She was heading to Walmart to buy some smokes.