& by Ron Porter
When I was born nearly eight decades ago, Cornelius D. Scully was the Mayor of Pittsburgh.& By most accounts, Mayor Scully was competent.& His tenure overlapped the burgeoning of the steel industry. The expansive need for steel to fight World War 2 fueled Pittsburgh’s smoky reputation as hell with the lid off.
Pittsburgh in the 1940’s was plagued by racism.& There were few Black policemen.& Housing communities were segregated. Black doctors, lawyers and other professionals served their communities exclusively. People of African descent were typically marginalized and restricted in building pathways to economic independence. Local government was undoubtedly complicit
In the year of my birth (1944) the Tuskegee airmen were not yet acknowledged for their competence and daring as pilots. The great migration of Black Americans from the fierce, officially sanctioned bigotry of the defeated Confederate states, grew the urban populations of cities north and west. August Wilson’s plays brilliantly share the joy and pains of black men and women relocated from the south to Pittsburgh.
Mayor Scully was followed in order by David L. Lawrence, Thomas Gallagher, Joseph Barr, Pete Flaherty, Richard Caliguiri, Sophie Masloff, Thomas Murphy, Bob O’Conner, Luke Ravenstahl, and Bill Peduto.& Each...