The Love Lady & the Professor: A Pittsburgh Civil Rights Story


Frances Barnes was known as Pittsburgh’s “Love Lady” and her husband Roland was the University of Pittsburgh’s frst Black full professor. The couple arrived in Pittsburgh on a wave of civil rights protests sweeping through the city and nation. Their experiences
before and after they moved to the city in the late 1960s are an important yet little-known chapter in Pittsburgh’s civil rights history that revolves around housing, employment, and education. The Barnes’ story offers a very personal perspective on housing discrimination and the moment in time when the University of Pittsburgh sought to reverse decades of racially biased employment, admission, and curriculum decisions. This article introduces 21st century readers to a couple who devoted their lives to education and to civil rights.

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