Celebrating Black History and the achievements of African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh would not be here without the immense contributions of African American leaders and trailblazers who helped shape our Y's, the families who look to the Y for community and connection, and the future efforts to make our Y's more accessible for all.

Black History is American History. The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh would not be here without the immense contributions of African American leaders and trailblazers who helped shape our Y's. Join us this month in celebration of these contributions, the families, communities, and connections throughout history to today. Visit our Instagram and Facebook to learn more about the Y's Black History


His leadership extended globally as a two-time Chair of Y-USA's International Committee. Additionally, Dr. Epperson held the distinguished position of the longest-serving Dean of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Social Work, demonstrating his lasting impact over 29 years. His profound influence resonates across decades and continents, embodying a legacy of service, leadership, and inclusivity that continues to inspire us all. 

“No matter where we traveled in the world, people knew him as a man who would do anything to ease the burden of another” - Julius Jones, former Executive Director of YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh (1979-2003) 

Thank you for joining us in honoring Dr. David Epperson.


Since 1976, the American government has acknowledged February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. 

The Black History Month theme for 2024, “African Americans and the Arts,” honors African, Caribbean, and Black American lived experience via visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression. The impact of African American influence in art and culture is undeniable. Below is a list of some of our favorite ways to learn more about Black History and contribution to American culture. 


Many of us did not get the full truth of Black History in schools. Thank you for joining the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh in deepening awareness of Black History and cultural contributions, not just in February, but all year long. Here are some of our staff recommends: 


Historically Black – As part of The Washington Post’s coverage of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, people submitted dozens of objects that make up their own lived experiences of black history, creating a “people’s museum” of personal objects, family photos and more. This podcast brings those objects and their stories to life through interviews, archival sound, and music. 

Witness Black History – BBC World News compiles and chronicles Black History topics, contemporary issues, and cultural impact. 

Beyond Black History – Black History Month happens every February. But the Black community’s impact on American goes way beyond a mere 28 days. This podcast delves into Black history all year round, while also providing nuanced conversations about race and inequality in the U.S. 


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot

The Autobiography of Malcom X

Life of Fredrick Douglass

Becoming – Michelle Obama

A Promise Land – Barack Obama

The History of Institutional Racism in U.S. Public Schools – Susan DuFresne

The Humanity Archive: Recovering the Soul of Black History from a Whitewashed American Myth – Jermaine Fowler 

Web resources: 

Black Archives – This site examines the nuance of Black life – providing insight and inspiration to those seeking to understand the legacies that preceded their own. 

National Gallery of Art - Black Art Collection – from 19th century painters to modern and contemporary artists. 

National Museum of African American History & Culture – Celebrates art as a platform for social justice and includes a digital toolkit for action all month long. 

Urban Intellectuals – Educational resources for learning often overlooked Black History.