August 10, 2022 - Pittsburgh City Paper

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AUG. 10-17, 2022

COMMUNITY

“It’s going to be a better Coraopolis.” Small river town becomes home to a growing share of Pittsburgh’s Latino population


FIRSTSHOT BY JARED WICKERHAM

Court watchers wear white at Aug. 4 probation hearing to protest the conduct of Judge Anthony Mariani.

AUG. 10-17, 2022 VOLUME 31 + ISSUE 32 CELEBRATING 30 YEARS SERVING PITTSBURGH SINCE NOV. 6, 1991

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Editor-In-Chief LISA CUNNINGHAM Director of Advertising RACHEL WINNER Director of Operations KEVIN SHEPHERD News Editor JAMIE WIGGAN A&E Editor AMANDA WALTZ News Reporter JORDANA ROSENFELD Arts & Culture Writer DANI JANAE Art Director LUCY CHEN Photographer/Videographer JARED WICKERHAM Graphic Designer JEFF SCHRECKENGOST Digital Editorial Coordinator HANNAH KINNEY-KOBRE Marketing + Sponsorships Manager ZACK DURKIN

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Advertising and Marketing Coordinator EMILY RADAMIS Senior Account Executive OWEN GABBEY Sales Representative MARIA STILLITANO Circulation Manager JEFF ENGBARTH Featured Contributors REGE BEHE, NATALIE BENCIVENGA, MIKE CANTON, LYNN CULLEN, TERENEH IDIA, JORDAN SNOWDEN Interns LADIMIR GARCIA, RAYNI SHIRING, DONTAE WASHINGTON National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529 Publisher EAGLE MEDIA CORP.

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COVER PHOTO: NATE SMALLWOOD READ THE STORY ON PAGE 4

UPDATE: In last week’s issue, Pittsburgh City Paper launched a new monthly feature where we will be keeping tabs on the Allegheny County Jail and its leaders. Since publication, we have edited the name of this report from Allegheny County Jail Watch to CP Jail Watch to make it clear that the report is not affiliated with an existing Twitter account called Allegheny County Jail Watch at @alleghenyJOB.

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¡EN MOVIMIE COMMUNITY PROFILE

BY JAMIE WIGGAN // JAMIE@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

E

VER CASTILLO JUST OPENED what he suspects is Pennsylvania’s first Honduran restaurant outside of Philadelphia.

His chosen location — Coraopolis — was until recently known mostly as a sleepy river town 10 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, hemmed in by water, trees, and steep hillsides. But a burst of redevelopment has coincided with an influx of Latino residents, returning the town to something more resembling its early 20th century past, where incoming workers from Italy and the Balkans contributed to decades of vibrant growth.

This feature is the first in a series of articles focusing on the growing Latino communities in Pittsburgh, co-published with Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Latino Magazine, and the Gazette 2.0.

Op e n i n g Five Sta rs Ho n d u ra s Restaurant on the town’s main thoroughfare, he says, is an attempt to meet the new community’s growing need for services and amenities. “That’s the reason we came up with the idea to open a restaurant, you know, ’cause everybody’s complaining because there’s nothing good,” says Castillo, who celebrated the restaurant’s grand opening on Aug. 6. “It’s just the normal [places] like

Berumen says the family is branching out to Coraopolis for a simple reason: “Lots of people are moving here.” Castillo has lived in the Pittsburgh area for the past eight years after first entering the U.S. from Honduras by way of Maryland, where he spent nearly two decades. He settled in Cranberry initially, but has since joined a growing number of Latinos making their home in Coraopolis.

McDonald’s and Burger King and all that. But everybody’s tired.” Just two blocks down the same street, Luis Berumen and his brothers are preparing to expand their acclaimed Las Palmas brand with a new location combining a large grocery store with a dine-in eatery. CONTINUES ON PG. 7

CP PHOTO: RAYNI SHIRING

Five Stars Honduras Restaurant's Grand Opening

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CP PHOTO: NATE SMALLWOOD

Soccer games at Montour Junction Sports Complex in Coraopolis on July 31.

LATINO POPULATION CHANGE OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS (PERCENTAGE INCREASE)

: CORAOPOLIS

SOURCE: THE 2021 ALLEGHENY COUNTY LATINX NEEDS ASSESSMENT

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Casa San Jose casasanjose.org Casa San Jose provides several services for the Latino community, and its doors are open to anyone, even if you aren’t from Pittsburgh. • ISAC is a partnership made up of six agencies, including Casa San Jose, that aids immigrants with social services and helps them navigate the Pittsburgh area. • ESL classes are provided to community members who need help learning English so they can better adapt to their new homes. The classes are offered both virtually and in-person. • Jovenes Con Proposito helps Latino youths engage with the Pittsburgh community to inspire a new generation to act for meaningful social change. The program prepares young members for their futures in college and to be potential future leaders in their own communities. • Puentes Hacia El Futuro, a group for youth aged 6-14, is a similar organization that helps members learn about their community and educate them for their future. The group goes to the Carnegie Museums, theater performances, and more.

Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce pmahcc.wildapricot.org The principal regional advocate for Hispanic businesses and their interests in the Pittsburgh area. The organization provides networking opportunities, assistance with public contracting, microloans, and more.

The Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation phdcincubator.org An organization “focusing on racial equity in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area” that aims to improve the lives of members of the local Hispanic community, including increasing population, serving as a business incubator for Hispanic businesses, and providing services for housing and employment.

Pittsburgh Latino Magazine presentepgh.com A bilingual online publication focused on Western Pennsylvania’s Latinx community, with a mission “to share culturally relevant content that keeps our Latino

CP PHOTO: RAYNI SHIRING

Jenny Diaz of Casa San Jose

population connected, empowers our community, and elevates the quality of life of Hispanics in the region.”

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement facebook.com/lclaapittsburgh The Pittsburgh chapter of El Consejo Sindical para el Avance del Trabajador Latinoamericano, or the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, is a national Latino labor organization working to build political empowerment among members of the Latino community, supporting economic and social justice for all workers.

Latino Community Center latinocommunitycenter.org The Latino Community Center helps new and current Latino community members adapt to life in Pittsburgh. The nonprofit organization provides bilingual services, legal advice, and more, including case management, a community emergency response fund, and a health program working to promote the well-being of Latino families. •


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CP PHOTO: NATE SMALLWOOD

Meat is cut and sold inside of La Poblanita Market

Having set the standard for authentic Mexican fare in the Pittsburgh food scene at their Beechview location, Berumen says the family is branching out to Coraopolis for a simple reason: “Lots of people are moving here.” According to census data, the Latino population in Coraopolis leaped from around 100 residents in 2010 to nearly 350 in 2020, while across the county, the rate of growth has been far slower. Nationwide, census records show the number of Latinos in the U.S. rose by nearly 12 million between 2010 and 2020, bringing the total population to 62 million by the end of the decade. This reflects a slightly slower pace than the preceding 10 years, where more than 15 million Latinos were added to the national population.

County originated from Mexico, while about a fourth came from Guatemala and 15% from El Salvador. Beyond these large groupings, the study shows that foreignborn Latinos in the county hail from all over the Spanish-speaking world “Many people come from Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador,” says Veronica Martinez, a store manager at the La Poblanita Mexican grocery store in Coraopolis, where she has lived and worked for around two years. While the store she works in brands itself as Mexican, Martinez is from Guatemala, and she says Latino customers of all nationalities see themselves as a united community in the borough. The reason Latinos are moving to Coraopolis, according to Jenny

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“Many people come from Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.” Most of those interviewed for this story initially settled in another state after leaving their homeland before arriving more recently in Coraopolis. Together, they represent multiple Central and South American nationalities. According to the Allegheny County Latinx Needs Assessment 2021, a study commissioned by the county’s department of human services, just over half of foreign-born Latinos in Allegheny

Diaz, a health promotion specialist at Beechview-based Latino immigrant resource center Casa San José, is because they’re being drawn to the area’s access to dependable construction jobs, coupled with low living costs. “The majority of the population choose Coraopolis due to the [better paying] jobs, and rent and living costs being lower than in the Pittsburgh area,” Diaz writes in an email. “They go with the family choosing CONTINUES ON PG. 8

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUGUST 10 - 17, 2022

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new job opportunities.” But, alongside these prospects, Latinos in Coraopolis still face challenges as they settle into a small, predominantly white, Rust Belt community. “There are,” says Diaz, “unaddressed needs such as transportation, lowincome health care services, jobs, and rentals availability.” At Casa San José, Diaz and her colleagues seek to meet these needs through a range of resources and programming offered by the nonprofit. They work with trusted landlords to refer new residents to good housing options, for example, and coordinate mobile health appointments through the Mooncrest Neighborhood Programs, a volunteer ministry promoting “spiritual, intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development for children and families.” At the local Cornell School District, where Latino students are multiplying each year, Casa San José has partnered with educators to give additional support outside the classroom. Superintendent Aaron Thomas says their work has been particularly important in helping teachers engage with families over their children’s needs and progress. “They have been a great resource for us as far as communication with parents,”

he adds. Just a few years ago, Thomas says, students speaking English as a second language made up around 2% of the student population. Now, they represent 11%, forcing quick adjustments for the district of less than 600 students. “We’re trying to be proactive, but it’s also been a little bit reactive,” he says. The district has now hired a full-time ESL teacher, after formerly relying on a part-time contractor, and is on the cusp of bringing in a second if the number of new students continues to climb. To ensure families can enroll their students without hitches, Thomas and his staff have experimented with an assortment of technologies and translation services. Taking care of Cornell’s growing share of Latino students also means extending help, where needed, to the families who support them. Thomas says the district is currently finalizing a partnership with regional nonprofit Literacy Pittsburgh to provide adult language education to the Cornell community. “Sometimes the students get very, very comfortable and acclimated very quickly,” Thomas says. “Sometimes it’s more difficult for parents.” Amid the difficulties of transitioning to a new community and language, Thomas says Cornell’s small size and


CP PHOTO: NATE SMALLWOOD

Cesar Gomez, 21, and Evelyn Rodriguez, 20, watch a soccer game.

familiarity make the process easier. He believes this, and the welcoming environment they seek to foster, could explain in part why Latino families seem to be flocking to the district. “If you come up here and enroll your child, you’re dealing with one person in one office,” he says.

together regional teams each week for more than 10 years, making it an important cultural force in Pittsburgh’s Latino community. Every Sunday, each of the 10 teams takes on one opponent at the AHN Montour Health and Sports Medicine Center, a $16 million soccer and medical

“All the Hispanic people work a lot — like Monday to Saturday — so they need at least one day off for fun.” Brenda and Vincent Sanchez, who live in the district, say their daughter has settled in well at Cornell and that she enjoys spending time with other students outside of school. “She loves it,” Brenda tells City Paper on a recent weekend. Li ke m a ny La t i n o f a m i l i e s i n Coraopolis, the Sanchezes often spend their Sundays immersed in up to 10 hours of back-to-back soccer games. Hosted in Coraopolis, the Liga Latina De Futbol, or the Latin Soccer League, has brought

facility still under construction, where the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, the city’s professional soccer team, have trained since 2017. Vincent says the rhythms of working life for many Latinos converge around the Sunday league games, emphasizing their importance to community and social life. “All the Hispanic people work a lot — like Monday to Saturday — so they need at least one day off for fun,” he says. On a typical Sunday, passionate fans huddle around the sidelines of the CONTINUES ON PG. 10

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUGUST 10 - 17, 2022

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EN MOVIMIENTO, CONTINUED FROM PG. 9

CP PHOTO: NATE SMALLWOOD

Carol Martinez makes and sells pupusas with her mother, Helen, next to a soccer game at Montour Junction Sports Complex.

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outdoor turf field as wafts of grilled street foods swirl through the air. On and off the pitch, shouts echo, as players urge on their teammates and fans cheer for their teams. “This is beautiful,” says Tony Martinez, a recent Pittsburgh transplant, pointing to the game unfolding beyond him and the rows of supporters on all sides. Martinez, 23, recently moved from Texas to be near family in Pittsburgh, and works primarily in a Downtown restaurant, where, he says, the pay is slightly better than what he was used to in Houston. Last week, he was at the league for the first time helping his aunt sell hot food from her traveling vending station, “Pupusas y Antojitos Helen.” “This is like traditional food so they feel like they’re back home,” Martinez says, before confessing his favorite food is sushi. Before COVID arrived in early 2020, Armando Campos, lead commissioner for the league, says as many as 20 teams took part every weekend. Participation dropped dramatically in the first months of pandemic, but it is now slowly rebuilding. Campos says soccer is an important unifier across Latino cultures, and notes that league participants come not just from Latino backgrounds, but also

include African natives and some nonHispanic Americans. “Everyone is coming from all around,” he says. “Everyone is welcome to play.” In fact, supporters say the weekly league games sometimes draw hundreds of visitors from outside Coraopolis. Martinez says many of them stop in at her store on their way home to stock up on Latin American imports or to fill up on their offerings of flame grilled tacos stuffed with traditional Latino cuts like tongue (lengua) or tripe (tripas). Up until now, Martinez says, her store has served as the community’s lone option for authentically sourced Latino products. “Most people come here almost for everything,” she says, “because there is no other store like it or similar nearby.” Berumen says he was persuaded to bring Las Palmas’ newest location to Coraopolis after hearing from Latinos that the growing community now requires more than just one grocery outlet. Seeing the brothers behind the popular local Mexican grocery chain answer that call is a big deal to residents like Brenda Sanchez, who remembers first arriving in the community when it housed only a small Latino presence. “It’s going to be a better Coraopolis,” she says. •

Maria Manautou Matos, from Pittsburgh Latino Magazine, and Ladimir Garcia, a West Virginia University student and a Pittsburgh City Paper summer intern, contributed to this report, which was made possible with financial support from the Pittsburgh Media Partnership.

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Follow news editor Jamie Wiggan on Twitter @JamieWiggan


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FOOD

AUTHENTIC TACOS BY LADIMIR GARCIA // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

A 12

GROWING LATINO COMMUNITY in Pittsburgh’s Coraopolis neighborhood is accentuated by delicious, authentic cuisine.

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Pittsburgh on Screen Presented by:

CP PHOTOS: RAYNI SHIRING

Tacos from La Poblanita in Coraopolis

The Coraopolis location of La Poblanita, a Mexican market store and taco stand just 20 minutes west of Downtown Pittsburgh, is one of three of the business’ locations in Western Pennsylvania where you can go and get Mexican groceries, treats, and prepared foods. La Poblanita has been around for four years and is housed in what used to be an old gas station. Inside, they have groceries, and outside, they cook and have a place where you can sit and enjoy your tacos.

LA POBLANITA 801 Fourth Ave., Coraopolis. tinyurl.com/LaPoblanitaCP

Although the old gas station building is nondescript in appearance, with a nofrills exterior, that simplicity adds to the charm, and the food and smells coming out of the establishment as you approach make it worth sitting down and enjoying some tacos. The customer base is largely Latino, but the employees also spoke English in addition to Spanish, so knowing a second language isn’t a requirement for patrons looking for a good meal. Their seating area is small but it’s under some shade so you can avoid any heat on a summer day. I ordered two tacos de lengua, or beef

tongue tacos, and they were as authentic and delicious as one would hope. The tacos were fresh and savory, with the meat wrapped in soft corn tortillas. They were also substantial — just two were enough to fill me up for the rest of the day. If eating beef tongue isn’t appealing to you, La Poblanita also offers steak, chorizo, chicken, ribeye, and carne asada tacos. Once your tacos are done, you have the option to put your own toppings on your tacos, and as much as you want, from a toppings bar right next to their cooking area. Pro tip: Despite their cooking area being outside, you still have to go inside and order your food. After you order inside, you then take your ticket order to the person cooking outside and they prepare your food. Inside La Poblanita, they have a wide selection of drinks, including some Mexican classics like Jarritos, which you can grab after you order. If you’re still hungry after tacos, head across the street to La Poblanita’s smaller secondary location where they offer cold treats like ice cream, and other assorted items. And, if you’re interested in buying some Mexican groceries to take home for later, just head inside and buy whatever may catch your eye. They had fresh produce, meats, cheese, and more. •

Join us on Mondays in August to see films shot in our beautiful city and listen to panels of local experts and celebs who can weigh in on the films, Pittsburgh’s film scene and more!

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CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

An array of offerings left on Josh Gibson’s grave marker in Allegheny Cemetery

CULTURE

HOME RUN

BY SYLVIA RHOR SAMANIEGO // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

W

HEN ERNEST “PUD” GOODEN died in 1934, The Pittsburgh Courier lamented the loss of “one of the greatest young ball players that the Pittsburgh district ever produced.” The paper eulogized “that prince of Goodfellows” whose “sinewy arm could throw with the accuracy of a rifle” and whose “hawk-like eyes could solve the cleverest pitchers’ most deceptive deliveries.” Gooden played ball for the biggest teams in the Negro Leagues, including Pittsburgh’s Homestead Grays, the Toledo Tigers, and the Detroit Stars. But if you were to make a pilgrimage to Gooden’s grave today, you would be hard-pressed to find a place to lay a baseball in honor of this sports legend.

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Gooden is buried in an unmarked plot in Monongahela Cemetery. The same is true of Sam “Lefty” Streeter, who Satchel Paige called the best pitcher he had ever known, as well as Emmett “Scotty” Bowman, the onetime Philadelphia Giant who pitched in the sandlots and barnstormed with the best. Their names shared rosters with the greats — Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, and Cool Papa Bell. But despite their fame, Streeter, Bowman, and dozens of other Negro Leaguers are buried in cemeteries throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania, with no markers to tell us their names, much less their stories. The Josh Gibson Foundation wants to right this wrong. The foundation, established by

Gibson’s descendants in honor of the legendary Homestead Grays player, is dedicated to honoring the legacy of Negro League players. Using a list compiled by author and teacher Vincent T. Ciaramella, the foundation has identified more than 30 players buried in unmarked graves in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Foundation wants to give these players the recognition they deserve by crowdfunding through donations on Paypal to place markers at their graves. On Aug. 12, the first marker will be laid at the grave of Helen Mason, Gibson’s wife who died in childbirth in 1930, and whose grave is near Gibson’s in Allegheny Cemetery. “The Josh Gibson Foundation celebrates everyone who was a part of the Negro Leagues,” Foundation volunteer

Christian Cox tells Pittsburgh City Paper. “Negro Leagues stars like Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige are comparatively well-known, but the vast majority of players are not. By placing these markers, the Foundation hopes to help keep their legacies alive.” Today, Gibson is listed among notable burials in the cemetery and a marker off the main path points visitors to his grave. You might even find an array of offerings — baseballs and bats, notes, and Gibson bobblehead dolls — on the flat plaque bearing his name. But this wasn’t always the case. Gibson died in 1947, just a few months before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball. Yet, despite his status as a Negro


PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE JOSH GIBSON FOUNDATION

League standout, he was laid to rest in an unmarked grave. It wasn’t until after Gibson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 that a marker was finally placed at his resting place with the support of Pittsburgh Pirates players. Sean Gibson, the Gibsons’ greatgrandson and executive director of the foundation, sees the placing of markers as more than just a gesture. For him, the markers honor the legacy of his ancestors and give peace to those who paved the way for his generation. Sean says he hopes that the families of the other Negro

League players will “feel the same excitement” that he felt when the marker was placed at his great-grandfather’s grave. In recent years, the discovery of Black cemeteries that had been paved over to make way for sports arenas, such as Tropicana Field in Tampa, have highlighted the deep racism and inequities that defined not only the lives of Black Americans but also their deaths. From God’s Little Acre in Newport, Rhode Island to Oak Union Colored Cemetery in Florida, significant efforts are underway to restore and preserve African American cemeteries across the country. CONTINUES ON PG. 16

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OSH GIBSON was known as the “Black Babe Ruth,” but some might argue that it is more fitting to call Babe Ruth the “White Josh Gibson.” Known as one of the best power hitters in history — it is said that the sound of his bat hitting the ball was like the sound of a mighty tree falling in the forest — Gibson was a star in the Negro Leagues, including local stints as a member of the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays. In 1994, recognizing the need to honor the legacy of the Negro Leagues and to support the “next Josh Gibson,” the player’s descendants established a private, nonprofit foundation in the Steel City. At first, the Josh Gibson Foundation was committed to creating

sports facilities and baseball fields for young Pittsburghers. Over the years, the Josh Gibson Foundation expanded its mission to include a variety of programs including, mentoring, tutoring, and athletic programs. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Gibson’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the second Black player after Satchel Paige to receive this honor. The Foundation will mark this anniversary with a series of events and new projects, including the Josh Gibson Memorial Markers Project, to keep advancing awareness of Gibson and all those who played in the Negro Leagues, while also paving the way for the next generation of legends. •

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Janelle’s Story

“It’s important for Black people to give blood, and I ask my community to do that.” - Janelle La Chaux

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anelle La Chaux is one of the thousands of people living with sickle cell disease, an inherited red blood cell disorder that affects one out of every 365 Black or African Americans. Diagnosed as an infant, Janelle’s first memories are of being in the hospital sobbing, “I hurt! I hurt!” Her symptoms steadily increased as she became a teenager. When she transitioned from pediatric to adult medical care, Janelle encountered racism and discrimination from members of the medical community who didn’t understand her condition or need for pain management. She finally found a physician specializing in sickle cell disease, who prescribed monthly blood transfusions to help reduce her excruciating pain. Janelle, now in her 40s, says blood transfusions have been a constant part of her life ever since. And those blood transfusions could not be possible without people who choose to give blood.

Her message to blood donors is, “Your selfless act of giving blood is deeply appreciated. Blood helps everything in the body – your brain, tissues, organs. It’s the ‘gasoline’ that allows the body to function correctly.” Janelle has found a unique way to cope with her pain by expressing her journey with sickle cell disease through painting and sculpture. “As someone living with sickle cell disease, I am inspired to use my art to explain what I go through,” she says. “It’s difficult to describe the agony I endure during my chronic episodes of pain crises. The art I create art interprets my experience.” Janelle explains her art in this video.

“It is my hope that by sharing my story and my art, people will realize they are needed to donate blood. By taking action today, they will make a difference in the future.”

Many more blood donors are needed to eliminate an ongoing decline in blood donations. Of the total U.S. population, 62 percent is eligible to give blood, yet only 3% does. Of all red blood cells collected, 19.5 percent come from racial or ethnic minority donors (African-American, Pacific Islander, American Indian, and Hispanic). People in the Black community are encouraged to donate blood, because due to rare blood traits and certain diseases, blood that closely matches a patient’s race is less likely to be rejected and cause complications. For conditions like sickle cell disease that require frequent blood transfusions, patients often fare best when the blood is donated by someone of the same race. The most common blood type is O, and usually the first to run out during a shortage. In the Black community, 57 percent of people have Type O blood, the highest of any race. What is Sickle Cell Disease? Healthy red blood cells are round, and carry oxygen to all parts of the body. The red blood cells in people who have Sickle Cell disease become hard and sticky and resemble the c-shaped farm tool known as a sickle. The sickle cells die quickly, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. In addition when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious health problems such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE JOSH GIBSON FOUNDATION

Gibson and many other Negro League players, though, were not buried in African American cemeteries. Though the major cemeteries in Pittsburgh were not segregated by policy, the color line that often defined their lives was also visible after their deaths. Gibson’s grave, for example, is located in Section 50 of Allegheny Cemetery. Unlike the palatial memorials to the Pittsburgh elite in other parts of the cemetery, this quiet hillside is dotted by flat plaques that are barely visible to the casual passerby. Many of the people buried here were, like Josh and Helen Gibson, heroes of the Great Migration, people who left the Jim Crow South only to encounter a different set of racial biases in northern cities. For Black ball players, this meant significantly lower pay than white counterparts, and the inability to stay or eat in the same establishments as white players who they often handily outshone on the field. This inequity and disrespect in death — as in life — was something that writer Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, rallied against. In 1945, just two years before Gibson died, Hurston wrote to American sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Dubois to suggest the creation of a cemetery for the “illustrious Negro Dead.” She envisioned a 100-acre park in Florida with trees in bloom year-round. She imagined a place where Frederick Douglass and Nat Turner and other Black heroes would be honored and celebrated,

and where no one would be forgotten. In the letter to Dubois, she wrote: “Let no Negro celebrity, no matter what financial condition they might be in death, lie in inconspicuous forgetfulness. We must assume the responsibility of their graves being known and honored.” Hurston’s vision was not only a celebration of the history of Black excellence, it was a rejection of the forced forgetting of Black stories and histories. She knew, too, that this remembrance was as much for the living as for the dead: “You must see what a rallying spot that would be for all that we want to accomplish and do.” Sadly, Hurston’s plans were never realized, and when she died in 1960, she was buried similarly in an unmarked grave. But Hurston’s vision remains vital. By recognizing Negro League players like Gooden, Streeter and Clark, the Gibson Foundation hopes that new markers will do just what Hurston envisioned. They will not only honor the players, but organizers say the markers will also serve as an opening for the future, so that the stories of Pud Gooden, Sensation Clark, and other Negro Leaguers might inspire the next generation of Black excellence. The initiative “isn’t just for baseball fans,” Cox says. “This is the story of our city. It’s about our shared humanity and connections to our past. Any unmarked grave is a missed opportunity to know something about the people who lived here before us and made this region what it is today.” •

For more information about the Josh Gibson Foundation, visit www.joshgibson.org, or email Sean Gibson at sgibson@joshgibson.org for more information about the Josh Gibson Memorial Markers Project.


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A sign from a protest outside the Persad Center in October 2021

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HE DELTA FOUNDATION has formally withdrawn a federal trademark application following a protracted legal challenge launched by a rival LGBTQ organization. After the foundation announced plans to dissolve in August 2020, the foundation resurrected in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ scene a year later when it was reported that it had filed an application to trademark the terms “Pittsburgh Pride” and "Pittsburgh PrideFest."

application as well.” Initially, Delta sought to fight off QBurgh’s challenge, with both parties engaged in an ongoing legal exchange in a dispute that began in September 2021 and concluded with the Aug. 1 withdrawal. In an email to Pittsburgh City Paper, Marty Healey, board president at Delta and the CEO of local LGBTQ service organization the Persad Center, reiterated the wording in the organization's withdrawal paperwork. Both statements maintain

"‘Pittsburgh Pride’ belongs to the community not them.” But a former interim president for Delta took this as an affront, and sought to block the trademarking process. Jim Sheppard, who now leads online LGBTQ online magazine QBurgh, maintains the foundation has a troubled history, and celebrates yesterday’s withdrawal filing as a win for the community. “The Delta Foundation must have finally seen the writing on the wall. ‘Pittsburgh Pride’ belongs to the community not them,” Sheppard says in a press release following the announcement of Delta’s withdrawal. While Sheppard says QBurgh led the charge, he adds that “many community organizations, like TransYouniting, held protests, petition drives, and fundraisers in opposition to the trademark

the foundation reformed to ensure the continuance of the city's pride festivities and can now drop the trademarking process without fearing the movement will backslide. “The Executive Committee of the Foundation met and agreed that based on this year’s positive success of Pride Revolution, Pittsburgh Black Pride and Washington PA Pride, as well as the many local neighborhood Pride events that also took place, the Foundation will relinquish the trademark application,” the filing states. “The Foundation’s hope is that this action will empower all of the Pittsburgh regional Pride events to move forward in a positive and supportive manner in uniting the LGBTQIA+ community.” •

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17


PHOTO: COURTESY OF PITTSBURGH PLAYWRIGHTS THEATRE COMPANY

STAGE

Artwork for Jitney

DRIVING BEYOND JITNEY BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

R

IDE-SHARE SERVICES should properly thank Black jitney drivers for creating their business model. This is according to Mark Clayton Southers, the founder and producing artistic director of the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company. “Uber and Lyft need to give some of these African-American jitney drivers a pension,” Southers says with a laugh. He spoke with Pittsburgh City Paper over the phone from Winston-Salem, N.C., where he was presenting his play Savior Samuel as part of the National Black Theatre Festival.

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PITTSBURGH PLAYWRIGHTS THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS

JITNEY

Fri., Aug. 12-Sept. 18. August Wilson House. 1727 Bedford Ave., Hill District. $42.50-50. pghplaywrights.org/jitney

The people behind jitneys, a type of unlicensed cab service that, to this day, provides rides to underserved, predominantly Black neighborhoods, will become the subject of Pittsburgh Playwrights’ latest production of a classic August Wilson play.

Part of Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, Jitney, an award-winning show that originally premiered in 1982, is described as depicting “the lives of the drivers at a jitney cab station in the Hill District in 1977.” While Pittsburgh Playwrights produced Jitney before in 2010, the latest production holds special meaning. The show, staging Fri, Aug. 12 through Sept 18. at 1727 Bedford Ave., will be performed outdoors in the back yard of Wilson’s childhood home in the very neighborhood where the story takes place. Now called the August Wilson House, the space was recently renovated and

converted into an arts center. Jitney will be co-presented with the August Wilson House, which will host its grand opening celebration during the play’s run. Jitney marks Pittsburgh Playwrights’ latest foray into outdoor theater. The company also presented Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean in 2019, on a set at 1839 Wylie Ave., the actual address given in the play. Prior to that, the backyard of what is now the August Wilson House hosted Pittsburgh Playwrights’ productions of Seven Guitars in 2016 and King Hedley II in 2018.


The new location will serve as the stage for a returning cast, as three actors from the 2010 Pittsburgh Playwright production are set to come back. Southers, who directs Jitney, says audiences will “get a chance to see a master work his craft” in Sala Udin, a local actor who also serves as the District 3 school board president. Southers adds that Udin originated the role of Becker, the jitney cab station manager, for Wilson. In total, Udin has played the role three times, including in the most recent production. “It’s like my personal testimony with my father,” Udin says in a press statement. “We had a lot of conflict in our lives and this story reminds me of the importance of giving your father his props while you still have time because you may lose him. I never got the chance to tell my father that he was right and that I was stupid. This play is familiar territory because I still live in the Hill District where August and I grew up. We went to grade school together and I pass his birth home frequently.”

remind them of people they know.” He says that, for the white community, Jitney “allows them to be the fly on the wall because they truly don’t have that opportunity to sit and listen to African Americans converse,” adding that, unlike many often exaggerated depictions of the Black community in film and television, stories like Jitney are “more true to the way things actually are.” Pittsburgh Playwrights has already started to invest more in the Hill District beyond working with the August Wilson House. As Southers explains, he and his wife bought the abandoned Madison Elementary School in the Upper Hill District, which has sat vacant for about 16 years. Southers says that, while they only recently closed on the sale, they were given access to the school in January and have been using it as a rehearsal space for both Jitney and Savior Samuel. “The owners let us have the keys while we worked out the deal,” he says. Southers adds that they plan on using the school as an alternative performance

The people behind jitneys, a type of unlicensed cab service that, to this day, provides rides to underserved, predominantly Black neighborhoods, will become the subject of Pittsburgh Playwrights’ latest production ... Besides Udin, the play will also feature Jonathan Berry as Booster, Chuck Timbers as Doub, Boykin Anthony as Philmore, EIexa Hanner as Rena, Roosevelt Watts as Shealy, Richard McBride as Youngblood, Mike Traylor as Fielding, and Les Howard as Turbo. Southers says that, while the play revolves around Black jitney drivers, it holds some appeal for everyone. “It talks about the Vietnam War briefly and talks about the Korean War conflict,” says Southers. “So it appeals to different people. And I think, a lot of times, especially within the African-American community, the patrons can identify with the different folks, like, ‘Oh, that’s my uncle, that’s my grandfather, that’s my cousin,’ you know? August Wilson’s characters

venue for Jitney in case of rain. Moving on, he says the school will serve as the home for Pittsburgh Playwrights, offer two theater spaces (the main stage and a black box), and help the company bring theater to the community in multiple capacities. “We’re going to have rehearsal space, we’ll be teaching classes to learn how to do stuff behind the scenes, and acting classes, as well,” says Southers. “It’s gonna be an arts hub.” For now, Southers says, “We’re looking forward to bringing our all-time mostattended play back to the stage. Mr. Wilson’s Jitney is a favorite of most lovers of his work. We can’t wait to reunite with our supportive patrons at the historic August Wilson House!” •

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Follow a&e editor Amanda Waltz on Twitter @AWaltzCP PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUGUST 10 - 17, 2022

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FRI., AUG 12

SEVEN DAYS IN PITTSBURGH

IRL / IN REAL LIFE EVENT VIRTUAL / STREAMING OR ONLINE-ONLY EVENT HYBRID / MIX OF IN REAL LIFE AND ONLINE EVENT

PHOTO: COURTESY OF MATTRESS FACTORY

^ Garden Party at Mattress Factory

THU., AUG. 11 EVENT • IRL

After three years, Aspinwall’s Big Night Out is back. Come to the Aspinwall Baseball Fields for family-friendly fun. Use the force to get you through the Star Wars obstacle course and dance the night away with Aspinwall’s own DJ Ron and popular Pittsburgh indie band, Meeting of Important People. Other highlights include a selfie station, free samples from local restaurants, and a glass blowing demonstration. 6 p.m. Fifth and Field Ave., Aspinwall. Free. aspinwallneighbors.org/big-night-out

FILM • IRL

In the mood for a psychological thriller? Harris Theater is screening Resurrection, a new film starring Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth. An IFC Films synopsis says Resurrection follows a woman whose carefully constructed life is upended when an “unwelcome shadow from her past returns, forcing her to confront the monster she’s evaded for two decades.” 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $11. trustarts.org

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FRI., AUG. 12 MUSIC • IRL

Casa Brasil combines music and great food for Bossa Nights. The evening includes a performance by a Brazilian jazz trio led by singer Lilly Abreu and featuring musicians Eric Susoeff and Dwayne Dolphin. The restaurant will also serve a variety of drinks and authentic Brazilian cuisine to enjoy while listening to this night of live jazz. 6-8:30 p.m. 5904 Bryant Street, Highland Park. $10. casa-brasil.com

FILM • IRL

Pittsburgh Sound + Image presents “a movie so rare that we haven’t even seen it yet” with a screening of the 1963 film The Cool World. Directed by Shirley Clarke, the black-and-white work paints a vivid picture of inner city life by following a teen gang in Harlem. The film, which includes a soundtrack by jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie, will be shown at Eberle Studios in a 16mm format. 8 p.m. Doors at 7:30 p.m. 229 East Ninth Ave., Homestead. Free. Search “Pittsburgh Sound + Image” on Facebook

EVENT • IRL

After a two-year hiatus, the Mattress Factory finally brings back its Garden Party. The annual fundraising event will look to the stars with a ZODIAC theme and a night packed with entertainment, food, drinks, tarot readings, and more. See performances by Clara Kent and Good Sport, dance to music by the Jellyfish DJ collective, and bid on items in the art auction. Can’t make it tonight? The Community Garden Party on Sun., Aug. 14 is free and open to the public. 7-11 p.m. 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side. $125-375. mattress.org

SAT., AUG. 13 EVENT • IRL

See movie star Denzel Washington in person when he appears at the August Wilson House grand opening. The actor and director will oversee a ribbon-cutting for the arts center now located in the childhood home of the Pittsburgh playwright. A press release says the space will extend Wilson’s heritage by “advancing art and culture of the African diaspora and impacting the cultural landscape

far beyond the Hill District.” The VIP event includes appearances by Washington and August’s widow, Constanza Romero Wilson, as well as performances and several national August Wilson actors. A community house party will follow. 1 p.m. Community house party 8-11 p.m. 1727 Bedford Ave., Hill District. $100, $500 for VIP. facebook.com/AugustWilsonHouse

DRAG • IRL

Nothing goes with brunch like lip-synching and dancing, and New Amsterdam is hosting one such meal featuring a number of Black drag acts. Presented by S&S Productions, the Melanin & Mimosas Drag Brunch pairs a brunch buffet with unforgettable performances by Leia Way LeStat, Akasha L Van-Cartier, Icon Ebony Fierce, and others. Remember to bring cash to tip the performers. 12 p.m. 4421 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $25. 21 and over. facebook.com/ssproductionspgh

SUN., AUG. 14 FEST • IRL

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^ Pittsburgh Sound + Image presents The Cool World

illuminated sculptures when the Asian Lantern Festival returns to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The event offers themed food and entertainment, celebrates Asian history and culture, and highlights endangered animals. The fall show also includes an all-new display dedicated to dinosaurs. 6:30-10:30 p.m. Continues through Oct. 30. 7370 Baker St., Highland Park. $16.95-19.95. pittsburghzoo.org

MAGIC • IRL

Once a full-time barrister practicing intellectual property law, Guy Hollingworth now travels the world wowing audiences with his acts of illusion. See his latest show, The Expert at the Card Table, originally directed by Neil Patrick Harris, and developed at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory. Taking place at Liberty Magic, the production follows a fictional con man with a flair for card tricks. 6:30 p.m. Continues through Oct. 2. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $40-65. trustarts.org

MON, AUG. 15 OUTDOOR • IRL

Learn about local ecosystems with Citizen Science and 3 Rivers Outdoor Company during a walk in Frick Park. Librarian Tess Wilson guides this exploration with field tools and digital resources like iNaturalist, Seek, and Merlin Bird ID. Local experts from UpstreamPGH, GASP, and other organizations will also tag along to discuss the role of citizen scientists. 5:30 p.m. 1130 South Braddock Ave., Regent Square. Free. Registration required. 3riversoutdoor.com/citizensciencewalk

TUE., AUG. 16 ART • IRL

Have interesting discussions with artists, makers, and writers when The Frick Museum presents In the Gallery with Guest Labelists. The event offers unique perspectives from artists who served as guest label writers for Romare Bearden: Artist as Activist and Visionary, an exhibition now on view at the Frick Pittsburgh museum. 7 p.m. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. $10-15. thefrickpittsburgh.org

LET’S SAVE LIVES TOGETHER!

WED., AUG. 17 ART • IRL

Traveling Show at 820 Liberty Avenue includes photographs, videos, and books created by Renee Piechocki in response to her travels through North America and the world, including Japan, New Zealand, Mauritius, Chile, and Ecuador. The exhibition also features Compass Roses: Maps by Artists Pittsburgh, a collection of commissioned maps by 20 local artists. Continues through Sept. 12. 820 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. trustarts.org

MARKET • IRL

Shop from local farmers, makers, and others during the Midweek Market at SouthSide Works. Past markets have included a variety of vendors selling fresh produce, handcrafted snacks, plants, and more. The bi-weekly event will also feature live music with a performance by 17-year-old singer/ songwriter Gabriella Salvucci. 4-7 p.m. 27th St., South Side. Free. southsideworks.com

There is a critical blood shortage in our community and in Southwestern Pennsylvania. If eligable community members donate just once per year, this shortage would not exist.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUGUST 10 - 17, 2022

21


Working from Home?

CHEESY FILMS

BY BRENDAN EMMETT QUIGLEY // BRENDANEMMETTQUIGLEY.COM

Stay up-to-date with the latest news, updated daily at pghcitypaper.com

ACROSS

LYNNCULLENLIVE every Monday thru Thursday at 10 a.m. at pghcitypaper.com

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1. Decayed, like metal 7. Catty comment 11. Bar obligation 14. Actor Peter 15. European volcano 16. “Open, sesame” speaker 17. Cheesy film starring Marlon Brando? (with “The”) 19. Huge amount 20. Downs or salts 21. Lane of Metropolis 22. Something to plant 23. Formal wear 24. Group of nations 25. Don’t go straight 26. Bummed, say 27. Animation or spirit 28. Athlete 30. Ascends to a height 32. Paces 33. Cheesy film starring Michael J. Fox? 36. Knock off the track 37. Certain locks

38. Let’s Stay Together singer 40. Vicious fellow? 41. Typing test stat. 44. One using Elmer’s 45. Silly Sandler 47. Storage structure on a farm 48. Tiffany merchandise 49. Feeling superior 50. Old fishing tool 51. WALL-E love interest 52. Cheesy film starring Humphrey Bogart? 54. Series, in cards 55. Cast forth 56. Some navels 57. Spot for a scene 58. Round specks 59. Canine categories

DOWN 1. Popular thesaurus 2. More perfect world? 3. Drunk as a skunk 4. Minor errands 5. Jack of old westerns 6. OED offering 7. Tagalong’s cry 8. Morals

9. Dollar bills 10. Kind of chest 11. Deep-fried mouthful 12. Medicinal juice 13. Some school supplies 18. Among the best in the league 22. Billows 24. Revolver musician 25. Styled in the salon 27. More dawdling 29. Undercard match, for short 30. Gives the willies to 31. Pig abode

33. City near Seattle 34. Debater’s activity 35. Gives it a shot 36. Cloaks’ partners 39. “Your wish is my command” 41. Frank 42. Arranged 43. Quagmire 46. Does a housecleaning task 47. Flurry 49. Wrestling with the big guys 50. Speak thickly 52. Abbr. in a math textbook 53. Try for an apple LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS


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• We simplify the process & strive for quick claim approval • Starting the process is easy and takes only minutes to complete

855-447-5891 Helping thousands get the benefits they deserve

Bill Gordon & Associates, a nationwide practice, represents clients before the Social Security Administration. Member of the TX & NM Bar Associations. Mail: 1420 NW St Washington D.C. Office: Broward County Florida. Services may be provided by associated attorneys licensed in other states.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUGUST 10 - 17, 2022

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Return to the Magic & Mystique of the Renaissance!

PITTSBURGH

RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL

& Artisan’s Marketplace

SIX MAGICAL WEEKENDS!

AUGUST 20TH - SEPTEMBER 25TH 2022

SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS AND LABOR DAY MONDAY 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM • FREE PARKING

DISCOUNT TICKETS AVAILABLE AT:

www.pittsburghrenfest.com OPEN RAIN OR SHINE • NO PETS PLEASE