Black Steelworkers in Western Pennsylvania

Blacks constituted a sizable core of workers in the iron and steel industry of western Penn­sylvania between 1900 and 1950. Most had migrated to the Pittsburgh vicinity from the agricultural South during the two World Wars in hopes of improving their economic plight by obtaining jobs in area mills and foundries. However, racial discrimination prevented the majority of them from advancing beyond...
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Bookshelf

Keystone of Democracy: A History of Pennsylvania Workers Howard Harris, editor, Perry K. Blatz, associate editor Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1999 (361 pages; cloth, 24.95; paper, 16.95) “Our greatest debt is to past, current, and future generations of Pennsylvania workers. In telling their story in these pages, we honor their efforts to define and sustain the promise of...
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Documents for Freedom and Equality of African Americans

One of the primary responsibilities of the Pennsylvania State Archives is to maintain and make available records that document and safeguard the civic and property rights of Pennsylvanians. Many records document the struggle for freedom and equality of the Commonwealth’s African Americans. As early as the seventeenth century, some Pennsylvanians were concerned with the manner in which...
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Philadelphia’s Sainted Katharine Drexel: “Mother and Servant of the Indian and Negro Races”

On Thursday morning, January 27, 1887, the Drexel sisters of Philadelphia attended a private mass conducted by Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903) in Rome’s fabled Vatican. As members of one of the wealthiest and most devout Catholic families in the United States, the three young women — Elizabeth, age 31, Katharine, age 28, and Louise, age 23 — were also given a rare audience with the pontiff. The...
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African Americans and Civil Rights in Pennsylvania

Summer and swimming go hand in hand – or so thought the Creative Steps Day Care Camp. The camp’s leaders had signed a contract to use the pool at a private swim club, but when the children – 46 African Americans and ten Hispanics ranging from kindergarten through seventh grade – arrived for their summer swim, they were subjected to harsh criticism by some club members....
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Remembering Place: Black National Historic Landmarks in Pennsylvania

The National Historic Landmarks (NHL) program was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and refined by amendments to it in 1980. The federal law requires the U.S. Department of the Interior to certify the historic authenticity of NHLs based on strident criteria, including association with events, people, and great ideas; distinguishing characteristics in architectural or...
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