Blue Gold & Black: From Doorway to Distinction Has World-Premiere Film Screening Feb. 4

Issue Date: 
February 16, 2009


The University of Pittsburgh presented the world-premiere screening of the documentary Blue Gold & Black: From Doorway to Distinction on Feb. 4 in the Twentieth Century Club, Oakland. The documentary details the story of the 180-year experience of Black men and women at Pitt. On Motion Media wrote the script for the film, based on a treatment written by Robert Hill, Pitt’s vice chancellor for public affairs. The by-invitation-only event, which was attended by some 500 guests, was the University’s 2009 K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program, commemorating February as Black History Month.

1. Guests were greeted by a path of candle lanterns and banner stands.

2. Pitt history professor Laurence Glasco, seen at the premiere, provided extensive historical commentary in the documentary.

3. Tonya R. Groover (A&S ’07), founder and director of Pitt’s Technology Leadership Initiative, was featured in the documentary and attended the event.

4. A banner stand begins the telling of the story of a young Black man who in 1829 wanted to attend the Western University of Pennsylvania, which later became Pitt. Then-chancellor Robert Bruce, concerned about student opposition to having a Black man in the classroom, gave the young man permission to sit on a chair just outside the classroom door to listen to the lectures.

5. Ben Gordon (ENGR ’07), a 2007 Goldwater Scholar  and assistant project manager at Chester Engineers (left), stands next to Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor James V. Maher

6. From left, Robert Hill, Pitt vice chancellor for public affairs; Cathryn L. Irvis, widow of the late K. Leroy Irvis; and Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg are seen before the screening.