African American

Essential Pittsburgh
3:49 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Julia Johnson on Protests Following Eric Garner Decision

Protesters in Oakland Demonstrate in the Wake of the Garner Decision, Dec. 3, 2014
Credit Britt Reints / Flickr

In the wake of a New York grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in the alleged chokehold death of Eric Garner, protests erupted around the nation -- including in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. Local social justice organizer Julia Johnson joins us to offer her take on the local and national reaction to the Garner case.

Responding to critics who pointed out that last night’s protests in Oakland disrupted traffic and disturbed the community, Johnson explains, “that small inconvenience is the price people have to pay for allowing this system that oppresses people, that kills people and has no accountability for the murderers.”

The protests in the Garner case have been especially impassioned, Johnson says, because of growing momentum that has been built in recent weeks and months following the Ferguson case.

Johnson explains that in response to a series of national and local cases of police brutality against African Americans, a coalition of Pittsburgh activists and concerned citizens has created a list of demands in the interest of social justice and police accountability.

Protest footage courtesy of The Pitt News:

Essential Pittsburgh
4:45 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Columnist Tony Norman's Take on the August Wilson Center

The August Wilson Center
Credit thomas alan / Flickr

Now that a group of local foundations has purchased the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, and it's back in community hands, what is the best way for the Center to move forward?

We'll talk with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman who has plenty of ideas about what the AWC needs.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:47 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

A New Deal for the August Wilson Center

Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

With an August Wilson Center deal all but done, we'll look at the surprise agreement to sell the embattled downtown cultural center to a coalition of foundations for $8.85 million. A New York-based developer with plans of turning the building into a hotel has offered $9.5 million for the structure, but community outcry asking for the center to remain a locally held cultural institute apparently tipped the scales toward the foundations' bid. Tribune-Review reporter Natasha Lindstrom joins us for an update.

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Election 2013
4:59 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Black Pittsburghers Challenge Mayoral Candidates on a 'Black Agenda'

The newly formed Pittsburgh Black Political Convention will send to the four remaining Democratic mayoral candidates its “Black Agenda” later this week.
Credit Mark Nootbar / 90.5 WESA

A newly formed group hoping to improve the political clout of Pittsburgh’s black community is calling out the four remaining Democratic mayoral candidates to respond to what it is calling a “Black Agenda.”

The Pittsburgh Black Political Convention was formed this year and will send to each candidate its “Black Agenda” later this week. The candidates will then be asked not only for a written response, but also to appear for what will amount to an oral test before a community gathering in the Hill District on April 19.

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