Voices of History: Stories from Black Pennsylvanians

Voices of History: Stories from Black Pennsylvanians is a first-of-its-kind statewide effort to collect and celebrate the stories, family histories, struggles, and triumphs of Black Pennsylvanians in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The project began with conversations between PA Humanities’ Dawn Frisby Byers, Senior Director of Content & Engagement, and Fellow Dr. Brittany Levingston, the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh, and the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Lead implementers will be Dawn and JP Brice, our Community Programs Manager.

In conjunction with partners in these communities, including local historians, arts educators, and everyone who wants to share their story of being Black in Pennsylvania, PA Humanities will promote events and help people share local histories and their stories through audio and video. We will provide learning opportunities and activities around the digital archive for years to come.”

Your support will help make these programs possible.

Do you have a story to share?

PA Humanities is looking for stories in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of The Hill, Garfield / East Liberty, and Homewood-Brushton / Wilkinsburg!

Share with us about a special memory, personal experience, or a cherished keepsake that captures the spirit of your family’s journey.

Your support will help us bring this project to communities across Pennsylvania! We're launching in Pittsburgh in May 2024 featuring a talk by Pulitzer-Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson.

Isabel Wilkerson (Sold Out Event)

Our 50th anniversary Voices of History initiative kicks off on May 30 at 7pm at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh with a conversation with Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal. She is a dynamic presence and will speak on the importance of stories that shape the Black American experience.

Funding for this event is made possible with the generous support of The August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Erie Insurance, The Heinz Endowments, Tom Hagen, PNC, and The National Endowment for the Humanities through United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture.

Join the movement to raise up the stories of the Black experience in Pennsylvania.

With your contribution, we will partner with local community organizations, scholars, journalists and performers and provide venues and recording equipment to ensure that people who want to share their stories are heard. To bring these multi-day events to a city near you costs $75,000 or more, plus great ideas and stories. Just as multiple individual stories can tell a bigger story of social change, so too can your financial contribution join others to make this project a reality. We’d also love to hear your ideas and story suggestions.

Funders & Partners

Do you have a story to share?

PA Humanities is looking for stories in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of The Hill, Garfield / East Liberty, and Homewood-Brushton / Wilkinsburg!

Share with us about a special memory, personal experience, or a cherished keepsake that captures the spirit of your family’s journey.