Cleage’s Early Career

Clearly, Pearl Cleage is currently primarily known as a novelist, playwright and poet. However, as pointed out by an audience member at last weekend’s post show discussion many people from Atlanta first recall her from her more publicly political years. In her early career she worked a number of media jobs, most prominently as press secretary and speech writer in the 1970’s for Maynard Jackson, the first black mayor of Atlanta. Additionally, she often wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Atlanta Tribune. In 1991 she won the outstanding columnist award from the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists. Since her early days in which the public saw her more as a public political figure she has taken the political into the personal through her fiction works. This can be seen through a number of her works including Deals with the Devil, Some Things I Thought I’d Never Do, and Bourbon at the Border, currently playing at Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater.

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