The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) St. Louis Chapter honored Dr. Donald Suggs, publisher of the award-winning St. Louis American newspaper at its 34th Annual Ernest and De Verne Calloway Awards banquet Oct. 16.
Suggs was honored for his civic, political, Labor and media leadership in the St. Louis African American communities. The weekly St. Louis American newspaper was voted Best 2021 Black Newspaper in the Nation by the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
Terry Melvin, president of International Coalition of Black Trade Unionist and Secretary-Treasurer of New York AFL-CIO, was the keynote address at the event.
The annual awards are given in honor and memory of the husband and wife team of Ernest and De Verne Calloway, who dedicated themselves to the struggle for human, civil and Labor rights.
Ernest Calloway worked in the Kentucky coal mines and as an organizer for the Congress of Industrial Organizations before moving to St. Louis in 1950, where he later became director of education for Teamster’s Local 688, president of the St. Louis NAACP and a professor of urban studies at St. Louis University.
De Verne Calloway taught school in Georgia and Mississippi before joining the American Red Cross and traveling to China, Burma, and India during World War II. While in India she led a protest against the segregation of black soldiers in Red Cross facilities. In 1962, she became the first African American woman state representative elected to the Missouri Legislature and championed the causes of civil rights, equal rights, jobs, Labor rights, fair housing and prison reform.
“Thank you to all the unions, elected officials, and community allies that supported and made this year’s Calloway Awards a success,” CBTU-St. Louis said in a Facebook post. “We are grateful for everyone who showed up, and congratulations again to the 2021 Awardee Dr. Donald Suggs. Well deserved!”