Sunday, July 14, 2019

A campaign to co-name part of 6th Street after Donald Suggs Jr.

Donald Suggs, a longtime resident of Sixth Street, died in October 2012 from an apparent heart attack. He was 51.

His friends and loved ones have a campaign underway to petition the city to co-name the southwest corner of Sixth Street and Avenue B Donald Suggs Jr. Way. (There was a similar campaign in late 2012, though those plans didn't materialize.)

Suggs lived for years at 526 E. Sixth St. There are petitions up along the block here between Avenue A and Avenue B for people to sign...

Some background on him from a Donald Suggs Jr. Street Naming Project website:

Donald was a senior editor at The Village Voice, a former associate director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and a program director at Harlem United Community AIDS Center.

His work as an organizer included an early campaign against homophobia in the music industry that was the basis for the British Broadcasting Company film by Isaac Julien, "A Darker Shade of Black."

Through numerous appearances on "The Ricki Lake Show," he became nationally known for his witty commentary as a relationship expert and for his scathing critiques and rigorous insight into modern white backlash against people of color and LGBTQ communities’ decades before “Alt-Right” rebranding and Trumpism.

He penned the first major article about the transgender Harlem Ballroom Scene in New York for The Village Voice and his writings from The Advocate to The New York Times and his activism, which began as a pro-feminist undergraduate at Yale University, led to ground breaking discourse on black LGBTQ people around the world.

Donald was former board chairman for the public access cable network Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN). In 2001, he founded People Using Media to do Prevention, or the PUMP project, which taught young people from neighborhoods decimated by HIV how to produce HIV prevention videos to combat the spread of HIV within their communities ... His work continues to be cited for changing the landscape of American HIV messaging campaigns.

The petitions will be imp through tomorrow (Monday) on Sixth Street.

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