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Exploring Atlanta’s Black culture through the eyes of journalist Ernie Suggs

When it comes to Atlanta’s Black culture, there aren’t many who know it better than Ernie Suggs. When you have a mentor like former United States Representative John Lewis or have the legendary civil rights leader Joseph Lowery officiate your wedding, you’re bound to carve out a piece of history of your own, just like Suggs has done.

While Suggs is currently the co-curator of The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Unapologetically ATL newsletter, he’s been covering Black culture in Atlanta ever since he moved to the city 26 years ago.

“I moved here to cover race and culture,” Suggs said. “When I moved here, Coretta Scott King was alive, Hosea Williams was alive, CT Vivian, John Lewis, James Orange ... all these people were alive.”

These legendary figures inspired Suggs’ reporting journey.

“So just getting a chance, as a young reporter, to get to know and cover these people and have them serve as mentors … I’m divorced, but when I got married, Joseph Lowery performed my wedding.”

Reflecting on having so many connections early on, Suggs can’t help but be thankful.

“So just having these historic figures here in Atlanta and covering them has been a blessing,” Suggs continued.

Having such powerful influences and reporting on Black Atlanta culture for as many years as he has, Suggs is the perfect person to go exploring with — and that’s just what Access Atlanta did! The co-curator gave us an up-close and personal look at a typical day in his life.

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Suggs goes on to explain that civil rights and politics aren’t the only sectors being influenced.

“If you look at fashion, if you look at music, if you look at television and movies, all that stuff is happening here, and African Americans are right at the center of it,” Suggs said.

Suggs has found himself at the center of writing his own spot into history while also writing a love letter to the city he loves so much.

“It will be cliché to say, but I love the fact that it’s a Black-run city … I’m proud to go into City Hall and see all the people who work there who are Black … I’m proud to go and see Black professionals in pretty much every aspect of life, and I’m also proud to see people who are out there hustling and doing their thing.” Suggs said.

You can catch up with all things Unapologetically ATL by subscribing to their newsletter and keep up with Suggs by following him on Instagram and Twitter.

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