What I do at Capital B Atlanta

I’m the general assignment reporter and will be working to develop and source stories that will serve the various Black communities in metro Atlanta.

Why I came to Capital B Atlanta

As a journalist, I have always been passionate about storytelling on a local level. Journalism is an art that’s directly connected to our right to live in a democracy. But what happens when one group of people don’t have access to a right that was promised to them? That’s what called me to Capital B. The opportunity to highlight the very communities that helped shape me into the person I am today is a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

My connection to Atlanta

I was born and raised in Atlanta, in the eastern suburb of Decatur. I didn’t really recognize how special that was until I moved away for a brief time. 

My entire family is here in Atlanta. On my mother’s side, my grandmother and grandfather migrated north to the city from Arlington, Georgia, as the rest of their kin went south to Miami. They originally settled with their three girls, my mother being the youngest, in the Thomasville Heights neighborhood, before settling in Decatur. My father and his siblings were raised by my paternal grandparents in the East Lake Meadows section of Atlanta’s Zone 6. 

When I was growing up, my parents always boasted about their Decatur ties and shared rivalries between their high school alma maters — Cedar Grove for my mom and Walker-turned-McNair for my dad — and often referred to the city as “Decatur where it’s greater”. It was their love for the city that they were raised in that was deeply instilled in me from a young age. 

Having a deep understanding of Atlanta, and being raised in a community of people that understand the value of that on a historical level, is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. 

The song I’m listening to on repeat right now

I’ve always been a Young Nudy fan, mainly because of his relationship with 21 Savage, both of whom are from East Atlanta. However, I can’t start a day without listening to this beautiful collaboration with Pi’erre Bourne on Nudy’s 2019 Sli’merre album. It’s one of Nudy’s most versatile songs in terms of beat and flow, and overall one of his most underrated albums.

My favorite Black storytellers/creators

My favorite storyteller is my grandmother, Mary Ann Miller. Whether it was with tales about her childhood in Arlington, Georgia, where she sharecropped alongside generations of her bloodline, or about the path that led her to Atlanta, my grandmother always taught me the history of our people through colorful stories — often accompanied by sepia-colored pictures in photo albums that had been passed down through generations. I’ll always love those stories and I hope that, one day, my children will be able to hear them as well.

As a reader and student, I will always credit Toni Morrision and Alice Walker for their part in teaching me about Black womanhood and the art of storytelling. I find myself re-reading their works in different stages of my life and finding a new lesson each time. 

Where you can find me

I’m on Twitter (@bySydneySims ) and Facebook (Sydney Sims) but you can always email me at sydney.sims@capitalbnews.org.

Sydney Sims is the community engagement reporter for Capital B Atlanta. Twitter @bySydneySims