VIDEO: Rosedale Remembered–A Commemoration of Shame and Commitment to Change

VIDEO: Rosedale Remembered–A Commemoration of Shame and Commitment to Change

Posted: October 30, 2023 11:56 am

On September 7, 2023, a capacity crowd gathered at the Heritage Discovery Center to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Rosedale incident, in which Johnstown’s mayor ordered all Black people who hadn’t lived in Johnstown for at least seven years to leave. More than 2,000 people were displaced from their homes in response to the racist edict.

The event, which was free, was organized by a community committee in cooperation with JAHA. Representatives from the Dr. Edna B. McKenzie Branch Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), JAHA, Johnstown Branch NAACP, Johnstown Women of Influence (JWOI), Unity Coalition, and Why Are They So Angry Learning Community collaborated on the event, which included an illustrated presentation of Cody McDevitt’s book, “Banished from Johnstown: Racist Backlash in Pennsylvania,” a panel discussion, a photography exhibit, book signing, and reception.

JAHA is pleased to make the recording of the event available here for anyone who was unable to attend. Introductions and the book presentation make up the first portion of the video; the panel discussion begins at about 39:00.

Panelists for the evening:
Carol François
: Dr. Carol François has over 30 years’ experience as an educator serving in a variety of roles including Associate Commissioner of Education for the state of Texas; Chief of Staff for the Dallas Independent School District in Dallas, Texas; and Assistant School Superintendent in Wake County Public Schools, North Carolina. A co-host of the “Why Are They So Angry” podcast, she uses learning as a catalyst for positive change.

Kourtney King-Square: King-Square is co-host of the “Why Are They So Angry” podcast series that traces the history of systemic racism in America. She describes herself as a writer, reader, and proud
Blerd (Black Nerd) dedicated to educating through art and popular culture. She has written for several blogs about the Black Female experience navigating nerd culture.

Cody McDevitt: Cody McDevitt is an investigative reporter based in western Pennsylvania. He has won a Golden Quill and awards from the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association and the Pennsylvania
Associated Press Media Editors Organization. He co-authored Pittsburgh Drinks: A History of Cocktails, Nightlife and Bartending Tradition and Banished from Johnstown: Racist Backlash in Pennsylvania, for which he won a Bronze Medal in the IPPY Awards in 2021.