In this Teenie Harris photo from 1952, we see a Black woman making pancakes at a downtown Pittsburgh grocery store in the image of Aunt Jemima. You see another Black woman sitting at the counter next to a White man. This was the image of “equality” in the 1950s.
In 1969, we find a snapshot of Black Youth protesting in Pittsburgh – “Down with tokenism; equal job opportunities for all now!” The hope was for a new sense of “equality” that wasn’t just about a couple of Black people being hired by a company.
In 2020, we see a multiracial protest for Black lives in East Liberty.
And it is in the midst of these protests that the lightbulb seems to have finally gone off. What is true “equality”?
But it is not about concessions. It is about justice. It is about ceding power.