The free event will feature lead curator of The Vietnam War: 1945-1975, Samuel W. Black, in conversation with longtime Pittsburgh broadcaster Chris Moore, who is also a Vietnam veteran. The discussion will offer a "deep dive into how Black media communicated news about the Vietnam War to African Americans, the complex power and racial dynamics between the African American community and traditional American news outlets."
"It’s a subject that I think very few people realize, especially with the way media’s changed today under the current administration and how the media has basically had a target on its back and come under a lot of criticism," says Black.
The talk will cover Black journalists who covered the war for publications like Time Magazine, as well as predominantly Black publications like Jet and Ebony.
"The majority of African Americans read about news in the Black media, so in 1965 they weren’t necessarily picking up the Post-Gazette to learn about what was happening in their community," he says. "They were looking at the New Pittsburgh Courier or the Chicago Defender or something like that."
In May, Black told Pittsburgh City Paper that in addition to honoring those who fought in the war, the exhibit also highlights the conflict and hypocrisy happening in the U.S. during the war.
“The Vietnam War came at a time when America and the world were challenged with upholding the reigns of freedom,” Black said. “The Vietnam War exposed America’s confusion and hypocrisy about freedom at a time when it was denying freedom to its own Black and Brown citizens. It was important to show that a complex war had such a great impact on who we are as Americans and what we think as a democratic society.”