The Atlanta Voice Proudly Serving Atlantans for 58 Years
By Maynard Eaton, Endowed Professor, Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, Hampton University
For more than a half century, the revered Atlanta Voice newspaper has been the soul, substance and premier storyteller of Atlanta’s Civil Rights Movement and our Black community. The Atlanta Voice epitomizes the term Black Press.
After being hired at 11-Alive News more than 40 years ago, I was advised by Miami Times publisher Garth Reeves to meet and learn from Atlanta Voice publisher J.Lowell Ware, who he called “one of America’s most credible, powerful and progressive Black journalists”. That assessment proved to be true. J. Lowell Ware was a compelling, commanding, and formidable figure in Atlanta and throughout the nation. I learned as much from him about writing, reporting, and storytelling in the Black community as I did at Hampton Institute and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. I am forever indebted to this Black Press icon.
Meeting with him regularly at Paschal’s Restaurant was insightful, informative and instructive. It was eye-opening to see how widely respected he was for his journalistic prowess by whites and blacks, politicos and activists, critics and cronies. He was a quintessential leader.
That’s why I was so honored when he offered me the opportunity to write a weekly column called Politics 411, which I proudly did for more than a decade working alongside editor Stan Washington, photojournalist Henry Dodson, and salesman RDW Jackson. We were a good team for publisher Janis Ware, who carries the mantle for her esteemed father.
Today, I employ that rich, robust and rewarding Atlanta Voice experience to educate the next generation of journalists in a Hampton University class current editor, Donnell Suggs has addressed – The Civil Rights Era & The Media.
The Atlanta Voice: An Institution
By Stan Washington, Editor at Large, The Atlanta Voice
However you want to look at it, The Atlanta Voice is an institution in metro Atlanta. How can something that has served the public for nearly 60 years not be labeled an institution?
From its beginnings in fighting segregation until now, The Atlanta Voice has never lost its focused in providing our readers with the necessary information so that they can make an informed decision whether that be when it comes to voting, to contacting their elected officials, to nonviolent demonstration, to choosing a school or career, to where to dine, to advice on health, to participating in many of the cultural offerings in metro Atlanta and the nation.
The Atlanta Voice has been a consistent platform since its inception as a voice for those who normally haven’t had access to express their opinions through mainstream media. From its regular column of Voices on the Street to its opinion pages, to its interviews, Atlanta has heard from all walks of life from the African American community on a variety of topics.
The newspaper however, has done more than just point out or uncover injustices done to African American communities and it has also highlighted and saluted the achievements of its people and businesses not only locally but nationally.
It has been a source where readers can find out about community organizations and government activities. It’s been a needed source of connection between companies and its customers.
The paper has also been a valuable training ground for young journalists and a platform for veteran journalists to write articles that would be rejected by some other major media outlets.
The advent of the Internet age did not severely hurt or is killing The Atlanta Voice, in fact it has only enhanced what we’ve done in the past but made it better. The Internet and social media has released us from the confinement of a weekly publication and forever increasing high print costs. We still publish a print edition and we have added an e-edition of the paper. Now we are able to publish daily (or hourly), add video stories, and reach a worldwide audience.
How we distribute the news and information to our readers is changing but the mission of The Atlanta Voice remains the same – to give a voice to the voiceless, to expose injustice and highlight excellence wherever we may find it.
It is why we exists
By Janis Ware, Publisher, The Atlanta Voice
The Atlanta Voice has positively illuminated the contributions of people who gave their time, energy and resources to affect change in the city of Atlanta and beyond.
During the past 58 years The Atlanta Voice has captured, chronicled and preserved the events that have shaped the evolution of Blacks in this great city. That information is documented in the stories, photos and videos and in some cases audio. We are the protectors of this history and it is our legacy to do so.
We have captured the essence of a people committed and dedicated to change how Black men and women are viewed in Atlanta and in America.
It is why The Atlanta Voice exists.