To Be Both a Negro and an American: W. E. B. DuBois and His Search for an African American Identity

What, after all, am I?” asked W.E.B. DuBois when he arrived in Philadelphia in 1897 to study the city’s black community. “Am I an American or am I a Negro? Can I be both? Or is it my duty to cease to be a Negro as soon as possible and be an American?” Not only did this tension characterize DuBois’ classic work, The Philadelphia Negro, published two years later in...
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Carnegie By Peter Krass John Wiley and Company, Inc., 2002 (612 pages, cloth $35.00) The name Carnegie, like several others of its day – Westing­house, Morgan, Ford, Rockefeller, Winchester, Chrysler, Du Pont, Edison, Hershey – stands apart, apparently requiring lit­tle, if any, introduction. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) stands next to J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller as one of the...
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In King’s Shadow: Bayard Rustin and the 1963 March on Washington

On Wednesday, August 28, 1963, a quarter-million African American and white civil rights activists walked the one-mile length of the National Mall from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial to rally for better jobs and freedom for the nation s blacks. The signature event of the March on Washington occurred in the late afternoon when the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his...
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Lost and Found

Lost A cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s African American community and an architecturally significant landmark in the city’s predominantly black Hill District, Ebenezer Baptist Church was destroyed by fire – which also claimed the lives of two firefighters – in March 2004. Formed in 1875, Ebenezer Baptist was the first black congregation in western Pennsylvania to own its own...
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LeRoy Patrick (1915-2006)

The record of civil rights in Pennsylvania is checkered at best. Proponents realize that it requires much more than legislation to guarantee equality for all Pennsylvani­ans. More often than not, it takes courageous private cit­izens to stand up in the face of bigotry, discrimination, and oppression. One such individual was the Reverend Dr. LeRoy Patrick (1915-2006), of Pittsburgh. Patrick died...
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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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Archbishop Patrick John Ryan: His Life and Times: Ireland — St. Louis — Philadelphia, 1831–1911 by Patrick Ryan published by AuthorHouse Press, 2010; 357 pages, paper, $11.60 Upon the death of Patrick John Ryan (1831– 1911), Archbishop of Philadelphia for more than a quarter century, church bells throughout the city solemnly tolled to mark the passing of the remarkable Irish-born prelate. Ryan...
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