Upcoming Events

Twitter Feed

ORIGINS OF STEEL (Feb 8 - Feb15)
Posted 2/8/2011

ORIGINS OF STEEL
This week back in the day in the Burgh
& beyond

By J. Pharoah Doss
************************************************************************************************************

STEEL CITY LIVE CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY


THIS WEEK BACK IN THE DAY IN THE BURGH (Feb 8 - Feb 15)

Early in 1865 a black man was permitted to address the President of the United States. He proposed a corps of black men led by black officers who could win over southern blacks and aid the Union’s war effort. Frederick Douglass made a similar propose and was rejected, but President Abraham Lincoln was impressed with the man Frederick Douglass met on an anti-slavery tour in Pittsburgh in 1847. The man was Martin R. Delany. A few weeks later, on February 8, 1865, Delany was commissioned as a major becoming the first black line field officer in the U.S. Army.

Martin Robison Delany was born a free black man May 6, 1812 in Charles Town, Virginia (which is now West Virginia). Since it was illegal to teach blacks to read and write in Virginia the family relocated to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Here Delany was permitted to attend school, but he often had to leave school to work when his family could not afford his education.

In 1831, at the age of 19, Delany traveled to the growing city of Pittsburgh and worked as a barber and laborer. He eventually attended Jefferson College and was taught Latin and Greek. Then he studied the basics of medicine under doctors, and he took an interest in writing on current political matters. Delany published the black controlled newspaper The Mystery. He articles caught the attention of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, and Garrison reprinted Delany’s articles in his publication The Liberator. In 1847 Delany met Garrison and Frederick Douglass in Pittsburgh. Douglass and Delany then created the abolitionist newspaper The North Star.

Martin R. Delany was politically active for the rest of his life, and the birth place of his activism was the city of Pittsburgh.

THIS WEEK BEYOND THE BURGH

February 8, 1861: Confederate States forbid importation of slaves.

February 9, 1906: Death of African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

February 11, 1990: Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years.
February 14: Birthday of Frederick Douglass








Hot Events
(Click on a flyer to enlarge)