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Heinz History Center Celebrates Black History Month

The Heinz History Center is marking Black History month with events and a look ahead to the opening of an expansive exhibit later this year. A current exhibit features the history of the Pittsburgh Courier, the largest and most influential African American newspaper of the last century. In November, the center will open "From Slavery to Freedom: Pittsburgh and the Underground Railroad," which will examine the city's role from slavery and beyond.

"We actually are starting our programs before the exhibit opens, so the genealogy workshop is one of the programs associated with that exhibit," said Samuel Black, curator of the center's African American collection. "That exhibit is a long-term exhibit, which means it will be up for about a 10-year period."

The genealogy program will help people start their own genealogy project and will feature a discussion with genealogist Dr. Deborah Abbott. The workshop is free and open to the public, though registration is required.

Black said the celebration of Black History Month goes back to the 1920s and has become an American tradition. He added it's important in helping foster understanding between cultures.

"People need to know, understand, and respect the life experiences and contributions that African Americans made not only to American society, but to world civilization," said Black.

Current and upcoming events can be found at the Heinz History Center website.