Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance


Much of the lore of black Pittsburgh is set in the mid-20th century and is around jazz, Negro League Baseball, and the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper. Numerous academic studies, theses, dissertations, documentaries, newspaper articles, and essays have focused on one aspect of the lore or another. Very few published histories of this era have brought all aspects of the experience together in a tightly woven fabric of life, history, culture, politics, art, and enjoyment than Mark Whitaker’s Smoketown. The book is flled with 25 Charles “Teenie” Harris photographs that provide a visual interpretation and documentation of Whitaker’s writing that paints a picture of black life in Pittsburgh. Each chapter flows into the following chapter with such ease and precision that the reader could step back and imagine viewing this history like Gulliver looking down on Lilliput. 

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