Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance
The other great Renaissance of black culture, influence, and glamour burst forth joyfully in what may seem an unlikely place–Pittsburgh, PA–from the 1920s through the 1950s. Mark Whitaker’s Smoketown is a captivating portrait of this unsung community and a vital addition to the story of black America. 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. Whitaker takes readers on a rousing, revelatory journey–and offers a timely reminder that Black History is not all bleak. Some strong language and some violence. 2018.