Triple Take 16: ‘Underground Railroad,’ ‘Atlanta’ and ‘American Band’

triple-take-in-the-newsColson Whitehead, Donald Glover and the Drive-By Truckers have something to say–and America is taking notice.

In this week’s episode of Triple Take, we discuss a book, television show and album that are making headlines. “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead was recently named an Oprah Book Club pick. The novel imagines the network of safe houses and abolitionists who helped 19th-century slaves find freedom as a literal underground railroad. Donald Glover (“Community,” “30 Rock”) portrays his hometown on “Atlanta,” which airs on FX. The Drive-By Truckers, whose roots are in Georgia and Alabama, released their most overtly political album in “American Band.”

Listen to our discussion and chime in: Does juxtaposing present-day problems with the past draw you into historical novels? What do you think is the best television show about the South? Do lyrics or melody draw you to music?

Book: “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead

“One of the ways the book deals with the modern problem of race is by juxtaposing (modern conveniences) with the underground railroad, so there are some nods to things we experience in our world today.” —Carla Jean Whitley

TV show: “Atlanta,” Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Central on FX

“I think it says a lot about the show that there really isn’t any plot that keeps me coming back week after week. I just really want to spend more time with these characters because they’re fascinating, they’re multifaceted people and there’s something that rings very true about them.” —Matt Scalici

Album: “American Band” by Drive-By Truckers

“At their heart, Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell are storytellers and they tell stories about blue-collar, down-on-their-luck, hardworking Southerners. And they do it in a way that loves these people, respects them and embraces them and tells their story in this Springsteen-esque, unparalleled way about the South.” —John Hammontree

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