Teenie Harris: Rallies & Protests


An integral part of the Civil Rights movement was the use of rallies and demonstrations. The sheer physical presence of allied individuals (both black and white) demanding the need for job opportunity, better housing, or customer fairness at department stores and restaurants was often the key turning point in achieving progress. A variety of groups ranging from the NAACP, Urban League, Black Construction Council, college students, and faith-based coalitions to the Black Berets and Black Panthers rallied in mostly peaceful and organized demonstrations, striving to have their voices heard. All endeavors were for a common cause—equality owed to people of color. Teenie Harris eloquently documented a variety of the marches in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Below are just some of the moments he captured on film.

1

Protest march with women and men holding signs for equal rights, heading toward downtown Pittsburgh, with church in background, c. 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety; Heinz Family Fund

2

Alberta Jordan Reaves and Willa Mae James protesting in front of Isaly’s, with Joel Wanzer in background, Homewood, August 1953, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

3

Men from Local Union 178 protesting labor policy outside United Steelworkers headquarters, Commonwealth Building, Downtown, September 1963, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

4

Men with protest signs reading “City Unfair to Employees” picketing on Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh, c. 1950–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

5

Protest against slum housing outside Commonwealth Savings and Loan Association, with sign reading “We’re in this fight together: NAACP, Urban League, CASH…,” c. 1950–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety; Heinz Family Fund

6

Broadside for Black Panther Manifesto on trial of Bobby Seale, pasted on window in Homewood, April 1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

7

Protesters, possibly including Nate Smith on megaphone in front of others, including James McCoy, Matthew Moore Sr., Vince Matthews, Herbert Bean, Dr. Charles Greenlee, Rev. Donald McIlvane, Charles Kendall, Charles Michaels, Mike Desmond, Byrd Brown, Gabby Russell, and Pauline Hall demonstrating against discrimination at US Steel in front of Union Trust Building, Downtown, June 1966, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

8

Members of Black Berets of Homewood leading protest march against discrimination in construction jobs, Fifth Avenue, Oakland, August 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

9

Protesters, including Rev. Bill Powell, James McCoy, Mal Goode, Byrd Brown, possibly Jim Scott, and Rev. LeRoy Patrick, with signs reading: “Job opportunities for us too,” “We just want our God-given rights,” and “The soundness of our cause should prick your conscience,” outside Civic Arena, Lower Hill District, October 1961, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

10

Jesse Jackson and group of civil rights advocates, including Bob Collins, George Simmons, Ewari [Ed] Ellis, Luther Sewell, and Clyde Jackson, preparing for press conference, March 1972, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

11

Protesters outside of U. S. Steel building, including Byrd Brown with sign reading “NAACP PGH Branch,” and Judge Henry Smith with sign reading “US Steel still has segregated facilities in 1966,” Downtown, June 1966 black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

12

Protesters including Baptist Temple Reverend J. A. Williams and woman with sandwich board reading “Protest – racial discrimination in employment breeds poverty, poverty breeds communism, this company has a discriminatory employment pattern, NAACP youth council,” c. 1963, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

13

NAACP protesters James “Jim” McCoy and Matthew Moore, in front of Beck Shoe Store with signs inscribed “Help Mr. K. in Washington, Hurt Mr. K in Moscow,” Fifth Avenue, Downtown, December 1961, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

14

K. Leroy Irvis and Pittsburgh Police Assistant Superintendent Lawrence J. Maloney at NAACP demonstration against employment policies, Downtown, c. 1963, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

15

Black Monday Demonstration on behalf of Black Construction Council, Rev. Jimmy Joe Robinson preparing to lead protest march, with Ron Davenport, Norman Johnson, Rev. Bill Powell, Bill Banks, Lloyd Bell, Mike Desmond, men in hard hats, and others carrying flags with wreath wrapped around fist motif, at Freedom Corner with St. Benedict the Moor church in background, September 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

16

Crowd, including nuns and clergy, in Point State Park with stairs in background, possibly during Black Construction Coalition protest, c. 1965–1975, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

17

Men from McKees Rocks throwing mock casket with signs reading “For Immediate Action Keep Your Local Community Program Alive,” into river for protest against cutbacks of poverty program, the Point, Downtown, January 1967, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

18

Men protesting, including Henry Smith, Mal Goode, Byrd Brown, and Boyd L. Wilson, outside of Woolworth’s, carrying sign reading “The Battle for Civil Rights is not only a Negro Problem, but the Concern of all Good Americans,” Smithfield Street and Sixth Avenue, Downtown, 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

19

Women, including Marva Jo Hord (Harris), protesting outside of Woolworth’s carrying signs reading “A protest against this co. policy in the south,” “Chatham students protest civil rights violation,” and “Chatham students protest Woolworth lunch counter segregation,” Smithfield Street and Sixth Avenue, Downtown, 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

20

Dr. T.R.M. Howard standing behind podium on stage at Soldier’s and Sailor’s Memorial Hall, with full audience, seen from above, for NAACP protest rally, October 1955, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

21

Large group of men and women standing on sidewalks in front of United States Post Office building, some carrying signs inscribed “ADA says now” and “Western Pennsylvania Marches for Jobs and Freedom”, men wearing dark military uniforms on sidewalk on right, buildings in background, c. 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund