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Black professionals writing love letters to Cleveland

Posted at 8:02 AM, Feb 15, 2017

If you could write a letter to Cleveland, what would it say?

"I would say Cleveland means to me a whole lot, it's who I am," said LaRese Purnell, a financial consultant at CLE Consulting who wrote about the excitement to get Cleveland's money right.

"There is no other city I'd rather reside in," he said. "No other city I'd rather raise my family in," he said.

Monica Green, CEO of the cosmetology business 'So Curly, So Kinky, So Straight' wrote her letter to Cleveland about how she's making the city look great, one style at a time.

"I found my passion in Cleveland," she said. "I'm living in purpose."

Their letters and snapshots are going in a book called Black In Cleveland.

"Not only is it bringing positivity just from a general perspective, but then people get access to seeing what you do," Green said.

"I kind a let people do what they wanted to do, the only requirement is that you love Cleveland," said Author and photographer for the book, Alvin Smith. He told me the whole idea is to highlight the movers and shakers here in the African-American community to motivate and educate.

"Kind of coaching people or teaching people to not only love themselves but to love their community," he said.

Preparing to publish his second volume of the book now, each one highlighting 130 professionals. Some in his first book told me it's been a reminder of the impact the community actually has had.

"I thought it was also a need, I felt that there was such, at times, a disconnection in our community to all the great moving pieces," said Purnell.

Smith hopes volume 2 of the book will be released this coming April.