Is Pittsburgh gentrifying?
Is Pittsburgh’s Black population declining?
If you ask Martell Covington, he’ll tell you, “Yes and yes.”
Covington, a Central Catholic High School and Howard University graduate, is currently a Legislative Aide to state Senator Jay Costa. That, in and of itself, is quite an accomplishment.
Covington wants to see even more big moves being made by African Americans in Pittsburgh—especially with millennials and the ‘80s babies.
But those African Americans in that 25-40 year-old age range want to feel accepted, valued, and financially prosper. Pittsburgh may—or may not—be the place where those things can happen.
“As Pittsburgh strives to find an identity on national and international stages, it’s essential that African Americans under the age of 40 are acknowledged on a platform like Fab 40,” Covington said, referring to the New Pittsburgh Courier’s “Fab 40” event that recognizes African Americans under the age of 40 who are making a positive difference in the Pittsburgh area. “Pittsburgh is indeed gentrifying and losing African Americans; it’s essential that we retain representation. We must champion us.”
Last June, Covington and 39 other local individuals were championed and cherished for their talents and positive contributions during the Courier’s “Fab 40” Awards Reception at the Fairmont Hotel, Downtown. For a city that has watched its Black population decline by the thousands in the last 15 years, while watching neighborhoods like East Liberty turn into “Eastside” with apartment buildings going up as fast and as high as the rent prices, it was good to see so many young African Americans in the same room, full of education, full of passion, full of drive.
“Pittsburgh can be very segregated by class as well as race, but it also feels like there are two Black Pittsburghs at times,” he said. “Fab 40 provides that opportunity to learn about other young people doing great work all over the city. It serves as confirmation to some and a reminder to others. Also, some of those honored may work thankless jobs and being a recipient of this award may possibly be the only appreciation they receive. That recognition goes a long way.”
And the recognition will continue, as the Courier will hold another “Fab 40” event in the coming weeks.
This is where you come in.
The Courier wants you to nominate an African American in our area who is deserving of the “Fab 40” honor. They could be doing great things in their field of expertise, which includes in the community. They could be a vital component in a large company, or an impactful piece of the puzzle in a small company. Maybe they are an outstanding teacher, social worker, lawyer—or maybe they’re in the health or tech fields that are growing here in Pittsburgh. Maybe they are a leading force in a nonprofit organization. Maybe they have their own company.
The Courier knows that, while our Black community is scattered throughout the region, everyone knows someone who is making a positive difference in our community. It’s time to officially nominate them as a candidate for our “Fab 40 Class of 2019.”
Nomination forms can be found online at newpittsburghcourieronline.com.
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