featured specials

featured specials

    close menu

Need photos? Want more information? REGISTER HERE or SIGN IN for the whole story.

Jim Crow Pennsylvania
Jim Crow Pennsylvania explores “Jim Crow’s” effect and legacy on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a state whose southern border is the Mason-Dixon line that divided the free north from the slave states.



Special focuses on racist practices in Pennsylvania history

PITTSBURGH -- Historians say that the term ‘Jim Crow’ originated in a song performed by Daddy Rice, a white minstrel show entertainer in the 1830s. His charcoal darkened face performed an unflattering caricature of a black man. During the nineteenth century the term became identified with the racist laws that deprived African-Americans of their civil rights by defining blacks as inferior to whites.

Jim Crow Pennsylvania will air on WQED on February 8 at 8pm. The documentary looks at how ‘Jim Crow’ practices affected black Pennsylvanians: the first African American family to purchase a home in Levittown; the role of the Pullman Porters in Pittsburgh, who criss-crossed the country on America’s railways and their work with labor and civil rights leader A. Phillip Randolph, who founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and later organized African American steelworkers; the 1911 lynching that forever changed Coatesville; and other stirring stories of victory and struggle.

Jim Crow Pennsylvania includes archival footage from Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the WQED archives, and period photographs from the Carnegie Museum’s Teenie Harris Collection.

The documentary explores “Jim Crow’s” effect and legacy on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a state whose southern border is the Mason-Dixon line that divided the free north from the slave states.

The program highlights some of the people who suffered but survived the harsh practices and are willing to tell their stories. Historical context is provided by Dr. Thomas Sugrue of the University of Pennsylvania and by footage of the late Dr. Edna McKenzie, a Pittsburgh historian and former Pittsburgh Courier journalist.

Jim Crow Pennsylvania is produced by WQED Multimedia and funded by the Pennsylvania Public Television Network. Emmy Award-winning Chris Moore is host and narrator; the documentary is co-produced by Moore and Olga George; and Emmy Award-winning Minette Seate is supervising producer.

The Pennsylvania Public Television Network (PPTN) is a technology service agency and a grantor to PPTN member stations in Pennsylvania to advance educational, cultural and civic opportunities and support public safety. PPTN is accountable for Commonwealth funds and supports PPTN’s public media organizations in their service to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the 2007 and 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Station Excellence, was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. WQED creates, produces and distributes quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within its community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED-DT; WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED-HD; WQEX-TV (A ShopNBC affiliate); WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; a publishing division that includes PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.

# # #

| WQED-TV | website



WQED Pittsburgh
4802 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Key Contacts

George Hazimanolis
Senior Director of
Corporate Communications


Maria Pisano
Marketing Associate


Media Usage Policy