On Feb. 5, at the Everyday Café on Homewood Avenue, there was a unique Black History Month kick- off. There was a full house at the newest business on Homewood Ave. and more than a half-dozen photographs by Charles “Teenie” Harris were unveiled. The photos are of a thriving Homewood concentrating on the business district. In the late ‘50s and early ‘60s there were businesses like Donahue’s, Vilsack Ray, Murphy’s Five and Ten and PNC Bank. This free to the public event featured storytelling by Charlene Foggie-Barnett, Teenie Harris Archive Specialist, Carnegie Museum of Art.
Teenie Harris is a well-known name in Pittsburgh. Harris had documented African American life in and around Pittsburgh for more than 40 years. Harris snapped over 100,000 shots and the Carnegie Museum is still viewing over 15,000 color images. The Pittsburgh Courier, the most renowned African American newspaper of the day, hired him in the mid 1930s to work as a freelance photographer. He later became their staff photographer. Foggie-Barnett spoke of how Harris used a unique method to develop pictures when he had taken a photograph of groups of people with various skin tones. People in the audience also contributed their personal stories about Teenie Harris. Harris died in 1998.
The café is owned by the Bible Center Church of Homewood. Their pastor, Rev. Dr. John Wallace, said it is important to have a meeting place like the Everyday Cafe in the Homewood neighborhood. Wallace grew up a few doors from where the café is located. The photos will be on display for the next four to five months.
Pay a visit to the Everyday Café for a cup of coffee, a sandwich or a piece of pie. They are located at 532 N. Homewood Ave.
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