Samuel W. Black
Director, African American Programs, Senator John Heinz History Center
Samuel W. Black is the Director of African American Programs at the Senator John Heinz History Center. He holds a degree in African American Studies from the University of Cincinnati and a graduate degree in Africana Studies from the State University of New York at Albany, where he was the recipient of the Perry Drake-Weston Award. He is President of the Association of African American Museums and has recently served on the Executive Council and the advisory council of the Association for the Study of African American Life & History as well as the program committee of the American Alliance of Museums. Black has authored a number of essays and narratives including Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era (2006); co-author of Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole: A Photographic History of African Americans in Cleveland, Ohio (2012); editor of The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience (2013), recipient of the AASLH Award of Merit for 2014.
Andrew Jackson Professor of History, Vanderbilt University, TN
Richard Blackett is an historian of the abolitionist movement especially to role played by African Americans. He is particularly interested in their contributions to the transatlantic movement and the many ways their activities abroad contributed to the struggle against slavery at home. He is currently working on a study of the ways communities organized to resist or support enforcement of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and the ways fugitive slaves, by their actions, influenced the debate over the future of slavery. Professor Blackett’s publications include Building an Antislavery Wall: Black Americans in the Atlantic Abolitionist Movement, 1830-1860 (Louisiana State University Press, 1983); Beating Against the Barriers. Biographical Essays in Nineteenth-Century Afro-American History (Louisiana State University Press, 1986; and Divided Hearts. Britain and the American Civil War (Louisiana State University Press, 2001); Making Freedom: The Underground Railroad and the Politics of Slavery (University of North Carolina Press, 2013).
Instructor, Department of History, Slippery Rock University
Fidel Campet is a visiting instructor at Slippery Rock University. After growing up in New Orleans, Fidel M. Campet relocated to Pittsburgh where he earned his Ph. D. from Carnegie Mellon University. He is currently teaching at Slippery Rock University and specializes in 19th and 20th century African American, social and cultural, and urban history. His dissertation "Housing in Black Pittsburgh: Community Struggles and the State, 1916-1973," places the African American struggle for housing and the shifting role of the federal government at the center of the analysis and broadens our understanding of housing both in its sheltering and employing capacities. The study suggests that interaction with housing issues not only reshaped internal relationships within the community but also influenced the modern black freedom movement.
James M. Lawson, Jr. Professor of History, Vanderbilt University, TN
Dennis C. Dickerson, a native of Duquesne, Pennsylvania, is James M. Lawson, Jr. Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. He earned the B.A. from Lincoln University (PA), the M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington University, and the M.Div. from Vanderbilt University. Previously he taught at Williams College as Stanfield Professor of History. In spring 2014 he was a Siemens Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin where he was writing “A ‘Brother in the Spirit of Gandhi’: William Stuart Nelson and the Religious Origins of the Civil Rights Movement.” His books include Out of the Crucible: Black Steelworkers in Western Pennsylvania, 1875-1980 (1986), Millitant Mediator: Whitney M. Young, Jr. (1998), and African American Preachers and Politics: The Careys of Chicago (2010).
Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh
Adjunct Lecturer, Point Park University
Laura Grantmyre earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. Her dissertation explored how visual representations of “blight” and urban modernism encouraged the demolition and redevelopment of Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill District during the 1950s and how Hill District leaders used images to contest the spread of redevelopment into the Middle and Upper Hill during the 1960s. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Urban History, Urban History, and American Quarterly. She is currently teaching History at Point Park University in Pittsburgh and theorizing how redevelopers’ unpeopled images of the Lower Hill were ostensibly “color-blind” but actually cloaked and promoted redevelopers’ implicit racial biases.
Associate Professor of History, Tabor College, KS
Jessica D. Klanderud is an assistant professor of History at Tabor College. She received her PhD in History from Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled, Struggle for the Street: Civil Rights in Pittsburgh, from a Place to a Movement, a study of formal and informal power on the streets during the Civil Rights Movement in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on neighborhood street-level dynamics of class and race as African Americans defined their own spaces in the twentieth century.
Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh
Rob Ruck is a professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches and writes about sport. His work focuses on how people use sport to tell a collective story about who they are to themselves and the world. His books include: Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh (1987), The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic (1991), Rooney: A Sporting Life (2010) and Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game (2011), and two documentaries, Kings on the Hill: Baseball’s Forgotten Men (1993) and The Republic of Baseball: Dominican Giants of the American Game (2006). He is currently finishing a book about football and fa ʻa samoa (in the way of Samoa) in American Samoa and among the diaspora.
Joe William Trotter, Jr.
Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice and Director, CAUSE, Department of History
J. W. Trotter, Jr. is Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice and past History Department Chair at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He also directs Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE). His most recent publications include the essay, “The Dynamics of Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. Coal Industry from the Civil War through Recent Times,” International Journal of Social History, 15 September 2015; “Researching A. Philip Randolph: Shifting Historiographic Perspectives,” in Andrew E. Kersten and Clarence Lang, ed., Reframing Randolph: Labor, Black Freedom, and the Legacies of A. Phillip Randolph (New York University Press, 2015); and “African American Urban Electoral Politics in the Age of Jim Crow,” Journal of Urban History (special issue, edited with historian Lisa Materson, in-press, 2015). His other published works include Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh since World War II (with Jared Day, 2010); and studies of African American urban, labor, and working class history in West Virginia, Milwaukee, and the Ohio Valley.