Friday, February 4, 2011

Heinz History Center Commemorates The Pittsburgh Courier

An in-depth look at The Pittsburgh Courier's past 100 years will take the form of a new exhibit called America's Best Weekly: A Century of the Pittsburgh Courier. Housed in the Senator John Heinz History Center, the exhibit will feature rare photos, artifacts, and videos that will highlight the Courier's impact on journalism and social issues.

The Pittsburgh Courier was founded in 1910 as a small start-up publication and quickly grew to become a prominent weekly news source for African Americans by the 1930s. By the 1950s, the Courier produced 21 national editions printed at its offices in the Hill District.

Samuel Black, Curator of African American Collections at the History Center, says the people of Western Pennsylvania should come out to learn more about the Courier. "It's a great local story. It is one of the most successful of the local stories where you have a newspaper founded in this city, basically from nothing, to become the most widely read African American newspaper in the mid-20th century."

The exhibit, which opens on February 11th, will include items such as the oldest known existing copy of the Courier, and a recreation of the 1950s newsroom. Black says the Courier's coverage of African American issues and civil rights made it a national sensation and one that the region should be proud of.

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