SSN Commentary

2022 Can Be a Watershed for Black Politics in Western Pa.

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University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Campus

Originally published in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on October 23, 2022.

Ed Gainey is the first Black mayor of Pittsburgh. Summer Lee is the first Black woman elected to the state legislature from western Pennsylvania, and is expected to become the first Black woman to represent Pennsylvania in Congress.

These two leaders have blazed new trails for Black politicians in Pittsburgh — but they also exist within a distinguished and distinctive tradition of Black politics in western Pennsylvania. They are standing on the shoulders of earlier Black leaders who were the “first” in their time.