Tuesday, March 26, 7pm
Left Bank Books
Join The Black Experience for a reading group discussion of Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker!
Today black Pittsburgh is known as the setting for August Wilson’s famed plays about noble, but doomed, working-class citizens. But this community once had an impact on American history that rivaled the far larger black worlds of Harlem and Chicago. It published the most widely read black newspaper in the country, urging black voters to switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party, and then rallying black support for World War II. Some of the most glittering figures of the era were changed forever by the time they spent in the city, from Joe Louis and Satchel Paige to Duke Ellington and Lena Horne. Mark Whitaker’s Smoketown is a “rewarding trip to a forgotten special place and time” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). It depicts how ambitious Southern migrants were drawn to a steel-making city on a strategic river junction; how they were shaped by its schools and a spirit of commerce with roots in the Gilded Age; and how their world was eventually destroyed by industrial decline and urban renewal.
Get Smoketown for 20% off in store and online during the months of February and March!
Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.