Patrice Alaquiva takes notes under a tree outside of the Cathedral of Learning (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

I’m a third-generation Black female living in this Pittsburgh nightmare.

Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. When I was 6 years old, I sat cross-legged in my grandmother’s living room. My hands framed my face as I hung onto her every word. She told a story highlighting horrific ways human beings treated each other, and she described juxtaposed realities of the people who lived in the same town. I thought it was the next installment in a series of fables she was telling.

Yes, Pittsburgh; it’s racism.

Since Tuesday, the airwaves and Twittersphere have been full of Pittsburghers discussing the newly released report entitled, “Pittsburgh’s Inequality across Gender and Race.” After spending the last 10 months getting the most up-to-date, comprehensive data, developing a brand new methodological approach and writing a 96-page report about the current status of Pittsburgh’s gender and race inequality, I am glad radio hosts, TV news anchors, newspaper reporters and city residents are engaging with our findings. Yet, it is simultaneously infuriating to hear these same Pittsburghers attempt to rationalize the observed inequities and claim they are not “racism.”

My preference for buses puzzles some people. But consider the benefits of ditching your car.

Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. Each weekday, I wake up in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, take two buses to reach Moon Township and walk about half a mile to get to my workplace. The whole commute takes between 60 and 90 minutes, and it perplexes just about everyone. My parents tried to talk me out of taking the bus; one of my coworkers has called my commute a trek; and, in the early days of this “trek,” my friends often asked me how my commute was going right after or instead of asking, “How are you?”

Why should the way I get to work garner so much attention? Though my parents often bike around my hometown in suburban Philadelphia, they drive when they need to make longer trips.