Pitt to Sponsor Feb. 28 Black History Month Program Launching New Book, Teenie Harris, Photographer

Issue Date: 
February 27, 2012

The University of Pittsburgh Press and Pitt’s Office of Public Affairs will celebrate the launch of a new book, Teenie Harris, Photographer: Image, Memory, History (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), at a special Black History Month program at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Twentieth Century Club, 4201 Bigelow Blvd., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public. Members of the public wishing to attend must RSVP to Pitt’s Office of Public Affairs at 412-624-4147 or frontdesk@umc.pitt.edu.

The book—coauthored by Pitt history professor Laurence Glasco, who will speak at the event—reveals the essence of African American life in Pittsburgh from the closing years of the Great Depression through the era of the civil rights movement. As a photographer for The Pittsburgh Courier, Harris captured on film historic events and celebrities coming through town, as well as everyday scenes at Hill District locations. Joe Trotter, who will also speak at the event, and Cheryl Finley are coauthors.

Teenie Harris, Photographer: Image, Memory, History was recognized at the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s 2012 Literary Awards in January, winning the Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation.

The evening will begin with remarks by Pitt Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Robert Hill, followed by remarks by University of Pittsburgh Press Director Cynthia Miller. Trotter, Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice at Carnegie Mellon University, will make a presentation and take questions, followed by a presentation and brief Q&A session by Glasco. The evening closes with a reception, book sale, and book signing.

Glasco, a professor of history in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences since 1969, has for many years documented the contributions of African Americans to Western Pennsylvania. He was historical director of the Pitt-produced exhibition Free at Last? Slavery in Pittsburgh in the 18th and 19th Centuries, which was on display from October 2008 through April 2009 at the Senator John Heinz History Center, Strip District. Over the years, Glasco’s comments and insights have been part of a number of documentaries screened as part of Pitt’s K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program.

Glasco’s publications include August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays (Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 2011), The WPA History of the Negro in Pittsburgh (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004), and A Legacy in Bricks and Mortar: African-American Landmarks in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1995).

Trotter has served as Carnegie Mellon’s Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice since 2008 and was the head of the University’s Department of History from 2001 to 2011. He is the founding director of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for African American Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE), an interdisciplinary research institute that focuses on aspects of history, race, and policy.

Trotter is the author of Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh Since World War II (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010), The African American Urban Experience: Perspectives from the Colonial Period to the Present (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), and The African American Experience, Volumes I and II (Houghton Mifflin, 2011).