Gracie Bonds Staples

Columnist

Gracie Bonds Staples is a lifestyle writer for AJC. She joined the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in July 2000, after stints at the Fort Worth-Star Telegram, Sacramento Bee, Raleigh Times and two Mississippi dailies . Gracie graduated in 1979 from the University of Southern Mississippi. She and her husband Jimmy Staples have two daughters, Jamila and Asha.

Latest from Gracie Bonds Staples

16th Street Baptist Church: Site of tragedy galvanized a movement
 The importance of the 16th Street Baptist Church in the annals of African-American history can’t be overestimated. Not only was it the first black church to organize in Birmingham, Ala., it was the target in 1963 of the racially motivated bombing that killed four young girls and galvanized the civil rights movement. As a kid growing...

Posted: a day ago

The importance of the 16th Street Baptist Church in the annals of African-American history can’t be overestimated. Not only was it the first black church to organize in Birmingham, Ala., it was the target in 1963 of the racially motivated bombing that killed four young girls and galvanized the civil rights movement. As a kid growing...
This Life: Vietnam vet says AR-15 has no place in civilized society
 In the days since the Florida school shooting, we’ve heard a lot about assault weapons and the AR-15 in particular. It is the same semi-automatic style weapon Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old suspected shooter, is said to have used to kill 17 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students. It was also the choice of weapon in which 27 were...

Posted: 2 days ago

In the days since the Florida school shooting, we’ve heard a lot about assault weapons and the AR-15 in particular. It is the same semi-automatic style weapon Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old suspected shooter, is said to have used to kill 17 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students. It was also the choice of weapon in which 27 were...
This Life: Former co-chair of 1994 crusade says Billy Graham was man of integrity
 Funny what we remember about people when they’re gone. In the hours after Billy Graham’s death Wednesday, swollen ankles filled the mind of the Rev. Cameron Madison Alexander. Weeks before Graham’s 1994 Atlanta crusade, the preachers had just wrapped up a meeting in Alexander’s office at Antioch Baptist Church North...

Posted: 3 days ago

Funny what we remember about people when they’re gone. In the hours after Billy Graham’s death Wednesday, swollen ankles filled the mind of the Rev. Cameron Madison Alexander. Weeks before Graham’s 1994 Atlanta crusade, the preachers had just wrapped up a meeting in Alexander’s office at Antioch Baptist Church North...
Life with Gracie: Cobb teen engages kids with disabilities in martial arts
 On most any Friday night, you can find Marcus McAbee on the mat at Karate Atlanta Kennesaw. It isn’t the kind of thing most 16-year-olds will give of their time to after a long week of AP classes, but make no mistake, Marcus isn’t a typical kid. Never has been. Even at just 10, he knew as any good fighter does that sizing up your...

Posted: 5 days ago

On most any Friday night, you can find Marcus McAbee on the mat at Karate Atlanta Kennesaw. It isn’t the kind of thing most 16-year-olds will give of their time to after a long week of AP classes, but make no mistake, Marcus isn’t a typical kid. Never has been. Even at just 10, he knew as any good fighter does that sizing up your...
This Life: Counselor’s compassion to family helps anchor student’s future
 So often we get so caught up in our differences that we forget, whether we admit it or not, that at our core we’re all the same. We all bleed red. We all want to be loved and accepted. We’re all human. Keep that in mind as you read the story of 15-year-old Jemariya Patterson and her mom La Toya, who at just 34 years of age has...

Posted: 10 days ago

So often we get so caught up in our differences that we forget, whether we admit it or not, that at our core we’re all the same. We all bleed red. We all want to be loved and accepted. We’re all human. Keep that in mind as you read the story of 15-year-old Jemariya Patterson and her mom La Toya, who at just 34 years of age has...
This Life: What hurting teens in school may need most: A listener who cares
 In any given school week, Kara Thompson sees as many as 38 students who need her help. Sometimes the need is as simple as a word of encouragement and other times as complicated as finding them a place to stay. As often as she can, she does whatever it takes to fulfill those needs. However and whenever she can. At just 29, Thompson, a site...

Posted: 12 days ago

In any given school week, Kara Thompson sees as many as 38 students who need her help. Sometimes the need is as simple as a word of encouragement and other times as complicated as finding them a place to stay. As often as she can, she does whatever it takes to fulfill those needs. However and whenever she can. At just 29, Thompson, a site...
This Life: #MeToo movement inspires Marietta mom to seek justice
 For the longest time, Empress Rellise accepted other people’s impressions of her. She was, in their eyes, a promiscuous whore, a nymphomaniac. The problem with that is she never had a choice in the matter. No 5-year-old girl, or boy for that matter, ever does. Most 5-year-olds know their address and phone number. They can recognize...

Posted: 16 days ago

For the longest time, Empress Rellise accepted other people’s impressions of her. She was, in their eyes, a promiscuous whore, a nymphomaniac. The problem with that is she never had a choice in the matter. No 5-year-old girl, or boy for that matter, ever does. Most 5-year-olds know their address and phone number. They can recognize...
This Life with Gracie: Prison chaplain gets a pardon
 For a long time, Omar Howard had waited for his answer, but when it came, when he saw the letter from the Georgia Department of Pardons and Parole in his mailbox last week, he couldn’t bring himself to open it. He was just too scared it was another “no,” and he’d grown tired of the rejection. “I didn’t...

Posted: 17 days ago

For a long time, Omar Howard had waited for his answer, but when it came, when he saw the letter from the Georgia Department of Pardons and Parole in his mailbox last week, he couldn’t bring himself to open it. He was just too scared it was another “no,” and he’d grown tired of the rejection. “I didn’t...
This Life: Gate City Bar president helping the village that helped him
 Clyde Mize was attending a forum last year at Douglass High School, when a handful of teachers stood to lament the proposed shutdown of their elementary school in southwest Atlanta. They weren’t just a school, they were a close-knit community that not only provided classroom instruction but emotional support to students and even...

Posted: 19 days ago

Clyde Mize was attending a forum last year at Douglass High School, when a handful of teachers stood to lament the proposed shutdown of their elementary school in southwest Atlanta. They weren’t just a school, they were a close-knit community that not only provided classroom instruction but emotional support to students and even...
This Life with Gracie: Life after Chipper Jones and divorce
 Karin Luise’s Facebook post was simple and straightforward. “From my heart, I want to congratulate Chipper for making it into the Hall of Fame. He was an incredibly talented, passionate ball player. We had quite a ride together from the years in the minor leagues through injuries, the strike, the highs and lows, the best World...

Posted: 24 days ago

Karin Luise’s Facebook post was simple and straightforward. “From my heart, I want to congratulate Chipper for making it into the Hall of Fame. He was an incredibly talented, passionate ball player. We had quite a ride together from the years in the minor leagues through injuries, the strike, the highs and lows, the best World...
This Life: Why Women’s March hat moniker strikes me wrong
 A year after they were introduced as a symbol for the Women’s March, those outrageous pink hats, to my dismay, were back in the news last week. I had hoped I’d seen the last of them, but just as sure as seconds turn to minutes, annual anniversaries come and wouldn’t you know this year marked the first anniversary of both...

Posted: 26 days ago

A year after they were introduced as a symbol for the Women’s March, those outrageous pink hats, to my dismay, were back in the news last week. I had hoped I’d seen the last of them, but just as sure as seconds turn to minutes, annual anniversaries come and wouldn’t you know this year marked the first anniversary of both...