Atlanta Voice Editor says Black Voters “Don’t Want to be Used "

Atlanta Voice Editor-in-chief Donnell Suggs talks about the Black electorate in Georgia
Black Voters Matter activists applaud at a press conference at the Capitol in Atlanta on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Black Voters Matter activists applaud at a press conference at the Capitol in Atlanta on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Georgia has more than two million Black voters, and they have the potential to make or break this battleground state for candidates come November.

Donnell Suggs, the editor-in-chief of the Black-owned Atlanta Voice newspaper, joined “Politically Georgia” to discuss the Black electorate.

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Credit: Contributed

“We’ve got a lot of concerns from our readership, local voters saying, ‘hey, we don’t want to be placated to, we don’t want to be used. But we don’t want the alternative,’” said Suggs

The data from the March Primary backs up this notion. 200,000 Black voters participated in Georgia’s March 12 presidential primary, and 95% of those voters chose a Democratic ballot.

Suggs’ comments also come a day after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris made a joint appearance in Philadelphia to promote a Black voter initiative.

Suggs said that on the campaign trail, he’d like to see Biden focus less on talking at Black voters by listing policy accomplishments.

“In general, a lot of folks don’t remember any policy,” said Suggs. “What they remember is how their lives were when you were in (office) and when you were out (of office).”

“Feel is huge,” Suggs said. “Let’s go back to (former president) Obama. That was our guy. So if some policies didn’t pass, it was still our guy that was out there fighting for us.”

“The alternative has really helped Biden,” said Suggs referring to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Trump faces several legal challenges, including the ongoing election interference case in Fulton County. Jury deliberations continued Thursday in Trump’s New York criminal hush money trial.

Suggs, a native New Yorker, says he remembers Trump dominating news cycles back in the 80s.

“I grew up in New York in the 80s. Trump was on the back page, or the front page rather, of the New York Times and New York Post and New York News every day for something.”

But, Trump could still make inroads with the Black electorate.

In 2020, only 11,000 votes separated former President Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Georgia.

Suggs said that with those narrow margins, Vice President Harris’ visits to Georgia will be crucial to the Biden campaign.

“Vice President Harris does a great job of representing The White House in Georgia,” said Donnell “When she comes to Atlanta it’s like a concert. She might need to be out front a whole lot more these next couple of months.”

AJC Data Reporter Phoebe Quinton contributed to this article.

Friday on “Politically Georgia”: Republican Strategist Cody Hall and legal analyst Anthony Michael Kreis join the show.