🚲 Yes, Pittsburghers actually do want more bike lanes.
Plus, how redrawing district lines can affect you.
Welcome to Wednesday, Pittsburgh.
Have you read The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by local author Deesha Philyaw yet? (It’s on my list!) Deesha won three major literary awards over the past year, and the book is currently being adapted for a series by HBO Max.
But if you haven’t read the book, at least read this article Deesha wrote for Bloomberg CityLab: “The Not-So Secret Lives of Black Pittsburgh Women.” It’s a really important piece that illustrates the struggles of Black women in our city. Out of dozens of cities in a 2019 study, Pittsburgh ranked at or near the bottom in economic, educational, and health outcomes for Black women.
Deesha wrote in the article: “These findings were met by a collective ‘duh’ from Black folks here. The research confirmed not only what we already know, but what we feel: Pittsburgh is not for us. Our lives, our successes, our well-being don’t matter here, despite the fact that Pittsburgh’s city council declared racism a public health crisis in 2019.”
We see it in the 9% loss in total Black population in the city from 2009 to 2018, as well as in some neighborhoods that have lost as much as one-third of their Black population. And we see it in Deesha, who despite finding success while living here, sees no reason to stay.
Deesha’s experience is not an anomaly. Read “Pittsburgh is America’s apartheid city” by Jerry Dickinson and “The Least Livable Body In America’s Most Livable City,” an essay by author Damon Young about his mother’s life and death in Pittsburgh.
We love this city, and that means taking a hard look at the damage done to so many residents. I hope you keep this very real and unfortunate fact in the focus of your lens as you navigate the narrative of our city. Now let’s move on to today’s news.