Pittsburgh’s Black College Reunion

It was 2018 and Pittsburgh, Pa was havin its Annual Black College Reunion and Cookout. I attended and graduated from Los City College in LA, California; where I studied photography and in 1978 graduated at the top of my class. I almost attended Howard University in D.C. to study film making but the offer to go to Nigeria and open up a photography color lab in Onitsha, the Eastern Region of Nigeria, was just too inviting.

However, I attended and graduated from a Black private prep school in Laurinburg, North Carolina entitled Laurinburg Prep. It was there I was introduced to and witnessed a value factor called Black Excellence; prolific works of prose and poetry by Langston Hughes, Niki Giovanni, James Baldwin and a host of many great writers; whereas, I also sat in the presence of great thinkers like my classmates, Joe Clark, Denise Boyce and a gentleman by the name of Socrates; in an arena where street knowledge, book smarts and common sense took center stage in the world of passionate discussions and intelligent decision making.

Everyone attending was asked to wear their college T-shirt so I asked Stan up in Harlem to create a shirt with photos of Dr. King, Barack Obama and Malcolm X, called Thinker, the ones with their index fingers on their temples. The venue was atop of a hill with a beautiful view, overlooking a line of bridges intersecting with the Allegheny, Monongahela coming together and forming the Ohio River around 3 River Stadium. This time I arrived so early, long before their preparations, I was wondering if the event had been cancelled. Finally a couple of gentleman with a HSBC college T-shirt pulled up and started offloading refreshments meant for the reunion.

I explained to the gentleman what I was doing and he said, “Great!” Their women arrived next  to help set up the refreshment tables and as time went by old friends from the Pittsburgh area met, greeted and exchanged engaging stories. Every once and a while someone would ask me what I was doing here or where I was from? When the group attendees formed for photographs I was flooded with cameras and cell phones for that one memorable shot. It was a fun day, a beautiful day in a city where both Black and white people were hospitable and friendly.

Please visit Collector’s Gallery 1 & 2 on this website.

Blessings to everyone and STAY SAFE!