Ernie Suggs, Author and Journalist, Honored for his new book - The Many Lives of Andrew Young
I attended the C. T. and Octavia Vivian Kaleidoscope Awards for Literary Excellence. Authors were honored to promote literacy and support the C. T. and Octavia Vivian Museum and Archives. The Vivian's library was collected over more than three decades. This year they honored a diverse group of authors, including Ta-Nehisi Coates, Taylor Branch, Tayari Jones, Natasha Trethewey, and Ernie Suggs. Suggs writes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and edits the Unapologetically ATL platform. He has written what some call the ultimate biography of Ambassador Andrew Young, titled The Many Lives Of Andrew Young. I asked him to tell us about the experience.
I ask how he came to write the book. He talks about covering Ambassador Young for over twenty-five years. Suggs broke down the book into ten chapters, and they sat together for interviews on each.
Suggs explained the story of Young's religious conversion was new to him and is one he still considers. He also talks about Ambassador Young being the last direct line to the civil rights leaders. In 2020 we lost C. T. Vivian, Joseph Lowery, and Congressman John Lewis.
Suggs speaks about Andrew Young being a renaissance man. He explains that Young was -
- a leader in the Civil Rights Movement
- the first African-American elected to Congress from Georgia since Reconstruction
- the first African-American to serve as UN Ambassador
- Mayor of Atlanta
- Led the team that brought the Olympics to Atlanta
- Leads a foundation and so much more
Suggs explains that any of those careers could be a book.
I asked Suggs about the exhibition currently at the Millennium Gate Museum that the book became. Suggs shares how that came from a collaboration with Donald Edward Bermudez. The exhibition is running through June 11th.
I ask Suggs to share with us what a day in the life of a journalist looks like from his perspective and what he shares with aspiring journalists. He speaks about no day being alike, no matter what he had planned. He also says to be true to yourself, be curious, honest, and learned.
For more information about Ernie Suggs
For more information about The Many Lives of Andrew Young
For more information about the Millennium Gate Exhibition