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St. Louis American Newspaper Observes 85th Anniversary

Courtesy: St. Louis American

The St. Louis Americanhas a circulation of 70,000 and is the largest weekly in Missouri targeting African American readers.  It reaches 40-45 percent of black households in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

It has received top national honors for journalistic excellence several times and it was named the best African American newspaper in the country in 2006. 

Host Don Marsh spoke with Dr. Donald Suggs, the principal owner, publisher and executive editor of the newspaper for the last three decades.

Suggs addressed racial polarization in St. Louis and an apparent brain-drain, in which talented St. Louisans leave for other cities.  He said early childhood education is the most important topic to address.

They addressed the founding of the newspaper, in 1928, when it, as Suggs described, “was a time when there was almost absolute segregation.”

A group of businessmen started the newspaper and while it faced some problems during the Great Depression, the St. Louis American is now in its 79th consecutive year of service to the community.

The St. Louis American’s business model focuses on more local coverage today.  “About 20 percent of our content comes from the community through commentaries, calendars, and unions,” said Suggs.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Mary Edwards is a producer for St. Louis Public Radio's broadcast program, "St. Louis Symphony."
Don Marsh served as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air" from 2005 to 2019, bringing discussions of significant topics to listeners' ears at noon Monday through Friday. Don has been an active journalist for 58 years in print, radio and television. He has won 12 Regional Emmy Awards for writing, reporting, and producing. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2013, and named “Media Person of the Year” by the St. Louis Press Club in 2015. He has published three books: his most recent, “Coming of Age, Liver Spots and All: A Humorous Look at the Wonders of Getting Old,” “Flash Frames: Journey of a Journeyman Journalist” and “How to be Rude (Politely).” He holds an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.