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 Post subject: Smoketown (AKA : Pittsburgh) by Mark Whitaker.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:18 pm 
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Mark Whitaker has written an enticing history of the black culture of mid-20th century Pittsburgh, filled with engaging musicians, athletes, and journalists. Smoketown makes a plausible argument that the cultural achievements of African-Americans in this western Pennsylvania steel town often rivaled those of the much better known Harlem Renaissance in New York City – and that the relationships between reporters and sportspeople were at the heart of that.

Whitaker was the first black editor-in-chief of Newsweek and a top executive at NBC News and CNN before becoming a full-time book writer. His resume is undoubtedly one reason that so much of this book focuses on the men and women of the Pittsburgh Courier, which was America’s largest black weekly at the end of the 1930s, with a circulation of nearly 250,000.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/feb/10/smoketown-by-mark-whitaker-review-an-alliance-that-advanced-pittsburghs-black-culture

Quote:
The Courier’s Bill Nunn was the first of three Courier journalists who befriended Louis. Together with sports editor Ches Washington, Nunn wrote an exhaustive profile of the heavyweight fighter that appeared every week – for five months.

Whitaker argues that Nunn, Washington and Courier publisher Robert Vann did “as much as any journalists in America to make Joe Louis a hero to his own people and a sympathetic champion to the rest of the country.”
One of the guys writing for the Courier was non other than Bill Nunn Sr. You know who that is? The father of Bill Nunn.

1970–1987 Pittsburgh Steelers Assistant Personnel Director
1987–2014 Pittsburgh Steelers scout (semi-retired)

Quote:
As a sportswriter for a black publication, Nunn developed deep knowledge of football programs at historically black colleges and universities.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Nunn_(American_football)

I found the background/ context interesting. I wasn't aware. Explains how and why they scouted at black universities. And of course, the Rooney Rule.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoketown (AKA : Pittsburgh) by Mark Whitaker.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:35 am 
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Looks like a great read. I've always thought Pittsburgh got jobbed for not having the Negro League Hall of Fame with as it was home to two of its most storied franchises, the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays.

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