Gloria Gipson Suggs, a native and resident of Marshall County MS, is the eleventh of seventeen children born to the late Sam Percy and Versie Ree Jones Gipson. She attended Henry Elementary (one and two room) School near Slayden, MS and graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Holly Springs, MS. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Rust College in Holly Springs. Gloria earned a Master Degree in Curriculum Development and Instruction at Memphis State University, now University of Memphis, in Memphis, TN. Suggs taught school in Tennessee in the public and private sectors for over 20+ years. She taught the first two years of her teaching career in Clarksdale City Schools, Clarksdale, MS. Suggs served as program director and coordinator for the alternative program for Marshall County and Holly Springs School Districts. After serveral accidents, Gloria turned to the arts.
She has received the following awards and honors for her art, poetry, songs and stories:The Cultural Preservation Award from MS Alliance for Arts Education in 2024; A Person of the Year Award from Publishers Weekly Magazine in 2023; Folk Art Fellow Grant from MS Arts Commission in 2023; Grand Marshall for the Lessye Lee Davis Parade in Holly Springs MS in 2023; South Arts "Excellence in The Arts Award" for the state of MS in 2022; Presented a The Lyceum Series about her work at Rust College in Holly Springs, MS in 2012; Woman of the Year Award for Women’s History Celebration at Burns UMC in Oxford MS in 2012; and The Double Decker Artist Merit Award in Oxford, MS in 2008.
Gloria Gipson Suggs has written three books: Wind-blown Memories in 1983; Reflections in Black and White with Shades of Red, Yellow, and Brown in 1998; and Piece-A-Way Crossroads in 2013 and it was revised in 2023. She produced her first single record called, “Steep is the Stairway to Heaven” in 1983. Suggs produced an album of eight contemporary gospel songs called “Such A Beautiful Day” on CD in 1990.Gloria was a movie extra in The Client in 1990.
Suggs exhibited her work and conducted workshops at The B.J. Chain Public Library, Olive Branch, MS; La Fayette County & Oxford Public Library in Oxford, MS; and the Corinth Public Library in Corinth, MS.
Gloria is married to Franklin Suggs of Chulahoma, MS. They have two children, Michael and Linda, and a grandson, Langston. Gloria is a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Holly Springs, MS.
“Preservation of Heritage and Cultural Pride through Art, Poetry, Songs and Stories”