African American in Pittsburgh

Making a Place Home

Pittsburgh Civil Rights Activist Lovette Died

Thelma Williams Lovette — a longtime civic, political and civil rights activist, who was cherished in the Hill District for her grace and steely resolve — died on Saturday in Mesa, Ariz., following a recent stroke, her daughter said. She was 98 . . .”

Read more:


Leave a comment


On Thursday, April 10, 2014, I had the honor of listening to Dr. John Francis, Planet Walker. He was invited to speak at the Inspire Speak Series at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. Dr. Francis was sponsored by The Green Building Alliance. He was an African American environmentalist long before environmentalism coalesced into a national movement in the late 20th Century and a cultural way of being in the 21st Century. Watch his Ted Talk:

He proudly continues to advocate for the earth.

John Francis walks the Earth, carrying a message of careful, truly sustainable development and respect for our planet.



Daisy E. Lampkin, African American History in Pittsburgh

1 Comment

Daisy E. Lampkin is a famous Pittsburgher. A historical marker outlining her life is in The Hill District, a historically African American neighborhood near the Consol Center in Pittsburgh.

“Daisy Lampkin was one of the best-known leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during a crucial era in the organization’s history. By the time that World War II erupted, she was already well known among African Americans. In the 1910s, Lampkin had been a tireless worker for women’s suffrage. Investing in Robert Vann’s Pittsburgh Courier in 1918, she eventually became its major stockholder, and in 1929 its vice president. That same year, Lampkin became co-chairperson of the national NAACP’s anti-lynching campaign in Pennsylvania. Lampkin was so successful fundraising in this campaign that the NAACP made her its national field secretary, a position she held for eighteen years. In the 1930s, Lampkin helped form the National Council of Negro Women, and toured widely, helping build NAACP chapters and raise funds in cities throughout the nation . . .” (Daisy E. Lampkin Historical Marker,

Photo by African American in Pittsburgh

Daisy E. Lampkin, Historical Marker                                                           (Photo by African American in Pittsburgh)

Look for the marker at 2519 Webster Avenue in the Hill District!


Leave a comment

2014 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival Including African Film

The eighth edition of the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival is dedicated to the legacy of world-renowned filmmaker, psychologist, and Carnegie Mellon professor, Paul Goodman, and to his professional focus on the human challenges and achievements of diverse groups of workers worldwide. Festival audiences will have the opportunity to explore the many “Faces of Work” through Paul’s compelling short films along with the Pittsburgh premiere screenings of new, distinctive, and award-winning films and documentaries from around the world, including the African countries of Chad and Rwanda.

sweetdreams1The Faces Festival is an annual celebration of international film and its potential to shine a light on the human faces involved in shaping our contemporary social landscape. More than a screening experience, the festival offers audiences the opportunity to explore the numerous complex themes of these films beyond the screenings themselves by participating in audience Q&A sessions with directors, artists, academics, and professionals; by engaging with interactive performances by student artists; and by sampling exotic foods and international cuisine from local eateries.

On Saturday, April 5, the festival’s Closing Night Event will celebrate a night of African culture with the Pittsburgh premiere screening of the inspiring Rwandan film Sweet Dreams!   Sweet Dreams is a film about the remarkable women of Ingoma Nshya, Rwanda’s first and only female drumming troupe.  In post-genocide Rwanda, the drumming ensemble provides an outlet for the women to bond, rejuvenate, and pound out tempos of strength and elation. Poverty may still be an obstacle in this recovering community, but a new business endeavor to open Rwanda’s first-ever ice cream shop is about to make considerable changes.
After the film, there will be a Q&A session with Director Lisa Fruchtman, as well as a Closing Night Reception provided by Dave & Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream!  The event will take place this Saturday, April 5, at 6:30pm at McConomy Auditorium in CMU’s University Center.  The Sweet Dreams film event is presented in conjunction with the Sembène Film Festival, and CMU’s Center for International Policy & InnovationCenter for African American Urban Studies and Economy (CAUSE)African Business CollectiveBlack Graduate Student Organization, and Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship.  Join us for a fun and inspiring night to celebrate and discuss African culture and connect with African groups and organizations in our very own Pittsburgh!

Tickets: $5 for seniors and students | $8 ‘workers’
Available at the door or at

For more information about Sweet Dreams, visit

We hope to see your faces in the audience!

Leave a comment

Shaking the Winter Blues (First Day of Spring!) in Pittsburgh

imageI have been living in Pittsburgh about 2 1/2 years now. One of toughest parts has been the dark days. Someone told me we have more darker days than Seattle. That’s not true: we are number 17 on a list of Top 101 Cities with the Lowest Average Sunshine Amount. Seattle is number 4. Another Pittsburgh urban legend.

imageDuring my first year in Pittsburgh, I couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to get off the sofa. Turns out I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I lived in sunny places before I arrived in Pittsburgh so who knew.

Today, I looked outside: SNOW. It’s the first day of Spring. What!?

It might be too late to help you this year because winter is over but next year get a “light box.”  And go outdoors: even weak sunlight and activity will help. What a difference two and a half years makes knowing what ailed me and proactively doing things to make it better.

Photos but African American in Pittsburgh