A fuzzy photo of a computer screen with multiple people in a video meeting.

Racist ‘Zoombombing’ attacks have marred virtual events. Here’s how to protect your virtual space.

A historically Black sorority at Slippery Rock University saw its virtual poetry workshop in February overtaken by unknown users who hurled racist imagery and slurs into the Zoom space. Other groups in the region were victims of similar attacks while trying to host Black History Month events. Commonly referred to as “Zoombombings,” the intrusions are a national trend that began as colleges and schools moved classes to Zoom in March 2020. Platform providers and meeting organizers are still unable to reliably prevent them a year on. Zoombombings can go beyond disruption and cause physical and mental harm to traditionally marginalized communities.

Commentary: Pittsburgh is America’s apartheid city

Like the children in Alex, Black children in my hometown were growing up in one of the nation’s least livable and unequal cities for Black Americans, according to the landmark race and gender equity study published in 2019. At that moment, I had arrived at an uncomfortable truth. Pittsburgh was America's apartheid city, not the nation's most livable city.

As a community health nurse, I know a barrier to health care when I see it. The COVID vaccine signup process is one that can cost lives.

Health systems that prioritize people who are able to go online for hours, hunting for scarce vaccine appointments, are creating barriers for vulnerable people who often have spent most of their lives pressing their noses against the window of a healthcare system that doesn’t seem to care about them.

Toy Slaughter raises a fist during a Black Lives Matter march in Downtown Pittsburgh on Tue., June 16, 2020. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Pittsburgh City Paper)

Misremembering a summer of protest: Comparing the Capitol riot to the racial justice movement cements a false history

Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. Ever since an insurrectionary mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the racial justice protests of summer 2020 are again a hot topic of discussion — primarily among those seeking to downplay the seriousness of Jan. 6 by asserting, as a supposedly self-evident comparison, that protest violence this summer was worse. We heard this rhetorical move during the impeachment proceedings last week even from the jurors themselves.

(Photo via iStock)

Episode 3, Season 2: How Pittsburgh shapes and cages the experience of Black women. For real. (Part 2) (Season 2)

Black women are not a monolith. So, building on the first part of the episode about Black women in Pittsburgh, I spoke with Jahqwhan “Jah” Watson. A native Ohioan by way of Cleveland — who came to Pittsburgh as a Pulse social service fellow last summer —Jah picks up where Naomi Ritter and Janel Young left off. We explore more of what gets left out of the conversation when discussing Black women in Pittsburgh and the unique experiences that shapes and cages their identities. 

Jah’s reflections are important because they’ve had a life not shaped by what we're used to as long-time residents of Pittsburgh.  Their reflections come from trying to acclimate into a city with its own set of systems, rules for socialization and history. Jah’s reflections are intimate, authentic and a fresh take on how we talk about Pittsburgh nurturing and shaping Black women. 

“Whatever my experience in Pittsburgh is has really sort of like beat me out of myself, and I'm really having to beat back.

2020 in pictures: A journey through a year like no other in Pittsburgh

No one will forget 2020. Pandemic, protests, the election — and yet everyone has experienced 2020 in their own way. While its effects appear to cut across lines of class, race and gender, 2020 has also been a year to expose and attenuate the profound inequalities in our society. These photographs are taken from a personal account of a shared experience, of a journey through a year like no other. They provide, on occasion, a first-hand account of some of the year’s major events, seen from our small city. 

Nestled between the Northeast and the Midwest, Pittsburgh is unique, quirky, specific — and a barometer of the country as a whole.