Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society to host Black History Month program
The Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society Heritage Museum in Tarentum is hosting a Black History Month event Sunday.
Samuel Black, director of African American programs at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, will speak on “African American Migration to Pittsburgh 1900-1950.”
Jim Thomas, president of the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society board, is excited about the program.
“It’s the perfect subject for Black History Month, and we are always looking to have programs where we all can learn more about history,” Thomas said. “We try to have interesting programs. I really enjoy hearing about history. I am looking forward to this. Samuel comes highly recommended.”
The talk will last about an hour and will include discussions about why African Americans came to Pittsburgh.
“Some came to find work, and it was thought these were primarily unskilled laborers, but that wasn’t true,” Black said. “A number of them were already professionals and business people looking for office work. Others came to further their education.”
In his research, he discovered the steel mills in Pittsburgh attracted some workers but, of the 50,000 employed, fewer than 1,000 were black.
“Pittsburgh was popular because of its three rivers, and it was known as the gateway to the west,” Black says. “Many men came alone and then sent for their families once they found work and got settled.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .