Who profits financially and job wise from all of the development that is going on in Pittsburgh? Everywhere I travel throughout the city I see single homes, apartments and new businesses being built. Yet, I see very, very, very few African Americans working on the job sites—not even as flagmen or flag women. That means all the new building going on in the African American communities—Homewood, Lincoln-Larimer, Northside, Hill District are not financially benefitting the people who live in those communities and whose lives are being affected. Many of our people are still unemployed in the midst of all the construction.
Throughout my many years of ministry in various urban areas, I witnessed the Black community being pimped by developers and politicians for the big dollars for redevelopment, yet those who are pimped reap none of the benefits. Back in the day that was called “urban renewal” but we knew it as “Negro Removal” and unfortunately that has not changed (not even in the “Most Livable City”); new name, same game.
I believe it is time for the Black community, Black church, Black politicians, NAACP, Urban League, B-PEP, community residents, fraternal groups and other fighters of justice to stand up and flex some moral muscles and say, “Enough is enough!!” We need to demand some jobs on these construction sites.