The most recent episode, titled “Where Do We Even Start with White Supremacy?” aired Sunday night. Much of it was filmed in the Pittsburgh area. Local figures interviewed included state Rep. Summer Lee, D-Swissvale, 1Hood Media founder and CEO Jasiri X, author and blogger Damon Young, and Wasi Mohamed, the former executive director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.
“Pittsburgh is simultaneously one of ‘America’s most livable cities’ and one of the worst cities in America for Black people,” Mohamed said Monday. “There is this narrative of renaissance and revival and another narrative of exclusion and racism.”
According to rapper and activist Jasiri X, Pittsburgh was a prime location for this conversation.
“I had never experienced open, in-your-face racism until I got here,” he said. “That’s part of Pittsburgh’s narrative. It’s something you feel every day.”
Though the documentary highlights the struggles the Black community faces, Jasiri X said it should also remind people that now is a time for a change.
“I hope people don’t watch it and feel down,” he said. “I hope they watch it and say, ‘We have an opportunity to come together and make Pittsburgh a city livable for everybody.’ ”
Conversations like this one have become more poignant in Pittsburgh following the death of Antwon Rose II and the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018. Widespread protests after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police — as well as evidence that COVID-19 disproportionately impacts Black people — have recently amplified the messages that local activists have been sharing for years.
“The starkly different experiences of people living in the same community should force people to reflect on the structures that built and maintain these disparities. White supremacy is why George Floyd was killed, why Black people die from COVID-19 at a higher rate, and why this recession will hit people of color worse than the white community,” Mohamed said.
Mohamed hopes to spread an optimism for Pittsburgh’s future. The show highlighted how Mohamed reached out to support Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers and the Jewish community after the attack at the synagogue shared by three congregations.
“Pittsburgh has been through so much the last few years but these hardships and tragedies have brought us closer together,” he said. “It is a place that has not yet achieved equity and justice, but is home to people who I truly believe can take us there.”
Originally Posted Here: https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/pittsburgh-voices-featured-on-cnn-series/
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