17 Books Published by Skyhorse Publishing on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about Tomlin: The Soul of a Football Coach by John Harris Tomlin: The Soul of a Football Coach

by John Harris
Sports Publishing (Nov 21, 2023)
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Foreword by Tony Dungy

In 2007, at the age of thirty-four, Mike Tomlin was hired as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Replacing Hall of Famer Bill Cowher—and two years removed from the team’s Super Bowl XL victory—there was immense pressure on the first-year head coach, who many fans and those in the media were largely unfamiliar with. After five seasons as an assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a single season as the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, the hiring came as a surprise to many. From his first day at the helm, numerous questions began to be asked: Was this young coach able to lead a veteran team that still had championship hopes? Could the newly hired, soft-spoken coach be able to fill the shoes of the great Cowher, known for being brash and outspoken? Was his hiring based solely on the "Rooney Rule"—named after Steelers owner Dan Rooney—which states that every team must interview at least one minority candidate for their open head coaching position?

Not only did Tomlin rise above the questions and criticism about his credentials, he continued the franchise’s reputation of excellence. The youngest coach to win a Super Bowl in only his second season at the helm, Tomlin has yet to have a losing record in sixteen seasons with the team. He is also the second-most tenured head coach in the league, only behind Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.

But the question still unanswered is, who is Mike Tomlin? Known for giving little to the media and keeping his thoughts and opinions private, those outside the locker room and Steelers offices know little about the future Hall of Fame coach. Even as one of the most successful African American head coaches in NFL history, and one that has handled numerous locker room "personalities" over the years, much of what is written and reported about the coach is only above the surface. That’s where John Harris comes in.

A veteran journalist who covered Tomlin’s hiring for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Harris works to pull back the curtain on the mystique behind this "coaching unicorn." Beginning with his days as a wide receiver at William & Mary, his several years in the college coaching ranks, to getting hired by Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy with the Buccaneers and his single season with the Vikings, Tomlin shares how a young man from Hampton, Virginia, was able to establish himself as a leader of men in a business with so much turnover, earned the respect from his peers and players, and has continued to be someone that is looked up to by so many in the league.

With interviews from former players, coaches, and executives, Harris lets readers in on what it’s like to play for Tomlin, why he is (or is not) beloved in Pittsburgh, and how his continued success has helped change the landscape of what NFL franchises look for in hiring a head coach. All from a man that chooses to give all the success to his players and coaches—past and present—than take it for himself: exactly what every franchise hopes for from the leader of their team.

Click for more detail about From Gold Teeth to Gold Jacket: My Life in Football and Business by John Harris From Gold Teeth to Gold Jacket: My Life in Football and Business

by John Harris
Sports Publishing (Feb 08, 2022)
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How a young man with a solid work ethic carried himself out of poverty to the pinnacle of professional sports and business.

Before he turned sixteen, Edgerrin James had already developed the critical thinking and mental discipline required for him to become one of the most astute business minds in professional sports. Acclaimed as one of the greatest running backs of his generation who was inducted into the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame, James is a self-made financial whiz and philanthropist.

Selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft and signing the largest contract for a rookie running back in league history, James amassed over 12,000 rushing yards, was a four-time NFL All-Pro, and led the league in rushing in each of his first two seasons.

In his new memoir, From Gold Teeth to Gold Jacket, with award-winning sports journalist John Harris and a foreword from fellow teammate and Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, James shares his unique, no-holds-barred perspective in becoming an all-time NFL great while also building a financial empire while raising six children.

The product of a single-parent household in one of the most downtrodden rural areas in the state of Florida, James balanced life as a young father as he became one of the best players in college football at the University of Miami. Later, facing what seemed like an insurmountable obstacle after reaching the pros, he overcame a devastating knee injury to leave an indelible mark on the sport.

When his football career ended prematurely following the tragic death of the mother of his children, James made a seamless transition to become a successful businessman. This tell-all book, featuring colorful anecdotes from his football career and personal life delivered in conversational prose, draws parallels between sports and business and guides readers on how to develop their own personal game plan to reach their maximum potential.

Click for more detail about The End of White World Supremacy: Four Speeches by Malcolm X The End of White World Supremacy: Four Speeches

by Malcolm X
Arcade (Jan 07, 2020)
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The classic collection of major speeches, now bundled with an audio download of Malcolm X delivering two of them.

Click for more detail about Still, in the City: Creating Peace of Mind in the Midst of Urban Chaos by Angela Dews Still, in the City: Creating Peace of Mind in the Midst of Urban Chaos

by Angela Dews
Skyhorse Publishing (Sep 11, 2018)
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Still, in the City is a collection of stories about the practice of urban Buddhism—when a New York City subway becomes a mobile temple, when Los Angeles traffic becomes a vehicle for awakening, when a Fifth Avenue sidewalk offers a spiritual path through craving, generosity, and sorrow.

The instructions offered here for exploring mindfulness in and around our cities are written to be accessible, whether you’ve practiced a lot or a little. Perhaps you’ve returned home from a retreat and want to hold the attention and intention gained from pausing and experiencing the silence. Or perhaps you practice mindfulness and don’t call it Buddhism, or you are just curious about what mindfulness is all about. Still, in the City will speak to you.

Practicing in the city comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities, and this book is attuned to both, offering guidance by teachers who see mindfulness not only as an intention for self-acceptance and relief of stress, but also as awareness that leads to dissatisfaction and that inspires our desire for deeper understanding and change. Dedicated to using their practice to make a difference not only in their own lives but also those of others, the authors speak of their involvement with their cities’ diverse communities, and their experience belies the notion that western Buddhists are of an age and race and class.

There is amazing clarity in stillness, and the opportunity for a skillful response rather than a reaction, even to injustice. And there is the possibility of equanimity and of freedom, everywhere and for all.

The teachers who contributed to this volume are Margo McLoughlin, Sebene Selassie, Gary Singer, Harrison Blum, Alex Haley, Wildecy de Fatima Jury, Eve Decker, Alice Alldredge, nakawe cuebas, Tracy Cochran, Bart van Melik, Joshua Bee Alafia (Jbee), Diana Gould, Paul Irving, Nancy Glimm, Ellen Furnari, Nobantu Mpotulo, JD Doyle, Rachel Lewis, Rosemary Blake, Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Tuere Sala, Walt Opie, and Diane Wilde.

Click for more detail about The Lessons of Ubuntu: How an African Philosophy Can Inspire Racial Healing in America by Mark Mathabane The Lessons of Ubuntu: How an African Philosophy Can Inspire Racial Healing in America

by Mark Mathabane
Skyhorse Publishing (Jan 30, 2018)
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A roadmap to healing America’s wounds, bridging the racial divide, and diminishing our anger.

Mathabane touched the hearts of millions of people around the world with his powerful memoir, Kaffir Boy, about growing up under apartheid in South Africa and was praised by Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton. In his new book, The Lessons of Ubuntu: How an African Philosophy Can Inspire Racial Healing in America, Mathabane draws on his experiences with racism and racial healing in both Africa and America, where he has lived for the past thirty-seven years, to provide a timely and provocative approach to the search for solutions to America’s biggest and most intractable social problem: the divide between the races.

In his new book, Mathabane tells what each of us can do to become agents for racial healing and justice by learning how to practice the ten principles of Ubuntu, an African philosophy based on the concept of our shared humanity. The book’s chapters on obstacles correlate to chapters on Ubuntu principles:

  • The Teaching of Hatred vs. Empathy
  • Racial Classification vs. Compromise
  • Profiling vs. Learning
  • Mutual Distrust vs. Nonviolence
  • Black Bigotry vs. Change
  • Dehumanization vs. Fogiveness
  • The Church and White Supremacy vs. Restorative Justice
  • Lack of Empathy vs. Love
  • The Myth That Blacks and Whites Are Monolithic vs. Spirituality
  • Self-Segregation: American Apartheid vs. Hope

By practicing Ubuntu in our daily lives, we can learn that hatred is not innate, that even racists can change, and that diversity is America’s greatest strength and the key to ensuring our future.

Concerned by the violent protests on university campuses and city streets, and the killing of black men by the police, Mathabane challenges both blacks and whites to use the lessons of Ubuntu to overcome the stereotypes and mistaken beliefs that we have about each other so that we can connect as allies in the quest for racial justice.

Click for more detail about Finding Oprah’s Roots: Finding Your Own by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Finding Oprah’s Roots: Finding Your Own

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Skyhorse Publishing (May 02, 2017)
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Prominent African American scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., traced Oprah’s roots and shares the lessons of her ancestors?the legacy one generation bequeaths another, how who we are is influenced by the paths our ancestor have trod, and the extraordinary impact that even the most humble among us can have on future generations through the simple process of building a life for our loved ones.

In Finding Oprah’s Roots, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., shines a searchlight into the shadows that have enveloped African American ancestry. By assembling an elite team of historians and geneticists in coordination with his well-received PBS documentary and using Oprah and her forebears as his chief example, Gates unveils a process akin to resurrection.

Literally, those who were denied identity?nameless slaves who died believing their ancestors would never know them?have their identities restored here through a dazzling array of search methods. Acting as a roadmap through the intricacies of public documents and online databases, this book also highlights genetic testing resources that can make it possible to know one’s distant tribal roots in Africa.

Oprah’s path back to the past was profoundly illuminating, connecting the narrative of her family to the larger American narrative and ?anchoring” her in a way not previously possible. For the reader, Finding Oprah’s Roots offers the possibility of an equally rewarding experience.

Click for more detail about In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Skyhorse Publishing (May 02, 2017)
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Unlike most white Americans who can search their ancestral records, identifying who among their forebears was the first to step foot on this country’s shores, most African Americans encounter a series of daunting obstacles when trying to trace their family’s past. Slavery brutally negated identity, denying black men and women even their names. But from that legacy of slavery have sprung generations who’ve struggled, thrived, and lived extraordinary lives.

For too long, African Americans’ family trees have been barren of branches, but advanced genetic testing techniques, combined with archival research, have begun to fill in the gaps. Here, scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., backed by an elite team of geneticists and researchers, takes nineteen extraordinary African Americans on a once unimaginable journey, tracing family sagas through U.S. history and back to Africa.

Those whose recovered pasts collectively form an African American “people’s history of the United States include:

  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Chris Rock
  • Tina Turner
  • Maya Angelou
  • Harvard divinity professor Peter Gomes
  • Astronaut Mae Jemison
  • And many more

More than a work of history, In Search of Our Roots is an important book that, for the first time, brings to light the lives of ordinary men and women who, by courageous example, blazed a path for their famous descendants. In accompanying the nineteen contemporary achievers on their journey into the past and meeting their remarkable forebears, we come to know ourselves.

Click for more detail about The Wide Circumference of Love: A Novel by Marita Golden The Wide Circumference of Love: A Novel

by Marita Golden
Arcade (Mar 28, 2017)
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From acclaimed author Marita Golden comes a moving African-American family drama of love and devotion in the face of Alzheimer’s disease.

You just can’t plan for this kind of thing.

Diane Tate certainly hasn’t. She never expected to slowly lose her talented husband to the debilitating effects of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. As a respected family court judge, she’s spent her life making tough calls, but when her sixty-eight-year-old husband’s health worsens and Diane is forced to move him into an assisted living facility, it seems her world is spinning out of control.

As Gregory’s memory wavers and fades, Diane and her children must reexamine their connection to the man he once was?and learn to love the man he has become. For Diane’ daughter Lauren, it means honoring her father by following in his footsteps as a successful architect. For her son Sean, it means finding a way to repair the strained relationship with his father before it’s too late. Supporting her children in a changing landscape, Diane remains resolute in her goal to keep her family together?until her husband finds love with another resident of the facility. Suddenly faced with an uncertain future, Diane must choose a new path — and discover her own capacity for love.

Click for more detail about The Golden Girls of Rio by Nikkolas Smith The Golden Girls of Rio

by Nikkolas Smith
Sky Pony (Nov 15, 2016)
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The summer Olympic games in Rio were groundbreaking for so many American women athletes.The US gymnastics team completely dominated, led by fierce little Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast of all time. Katie Ledecky shattered long-held swimming records and left competitors in her wake—if they were even close enough. Michelle Carter, in high style, changed the perception of strong women, and was the first American woman to win gold in the shot put. And Simone Manuel, the first African American woman to win an individual gold in swimming, has inspired a whole new generation of swimmers.

The Golden Girls of Rio is the story of how a group of very different little sporty girls—from around the country and from varying backgrounds—became the premier women athletes of today. And how these gold medalists—Golden Girls—and their teammates captured the world’s attention by their miraculous athletic achievements at the Rio Olympics.

Click for more detail about Unspeakable by Chris Hedges Unspeakable

by Chris Hedges
Hot Books (Oct 11, 2016)
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Chris Hedges on the most taboo topics in America, with David Talbot.

Chris Hedges has been telling truth to (and against) power since his earliest days as a radical journalist. He is an intellectual bomb thrower, who continues to confront American empire in the most incisive, challenging ways. The kinds of insights he provides into the deeply troubled state of our democracy cannot be found anywhere else. Like many of our most important thinkers, he has been relegated to the margins because of ideas deemed too radical?or true?for public consumption. Whether it is covering the dissolution of former Soviet states or embedding in the Middle East to understand the post-9/11 world, he has been a singular voice pushing against mainstream media disinformation and the amnesia of establishment received wisdom. He is an intellectual heir to American radical heroes such as Thomas Paine and Noam Chomsky, and is dedicated to reigniting a shared commitment to radical equality and honesty.

Hedges here speaks up about the most pressing issues that currently face our nation. He tackles the rise of a fascist right in support of Donald Trump, which advocates xenophobia and violence in a push for American totalitarianism. He rails against the posturing of inclusivity from establishment elites on both sides of the aisle, who post-Occupy-Wall-Street continue to advocate for policies that make America uninhabitable for all but the ultra-rich and, as lackeys for corporate interests, continue to expand income inequality in all directions. He tears into the contemporary glamorization of the military and the unchecked, unchallenged hawkishness that defines contemporary American foreign policy. Moreover, he shows his support for contemporary revolts against this twisted order?such as Black Lives Matter?that represent Americans refusing to take the destruction of their country lying down. And that’s just the start.

He possesses a clear understanding of the challenges that lie before us, and has proven to be ahead of the curve time and again. All of which is to say, Chris Hedges is unafraid to say what is necessary and true?and has always been. If we are to combat the intellectual and moral decay that have come to grip American life, we must listen to him and the urgent message he brings in this book.

Click for more detail about Invisible Men: A Contemporary Slave Narrative in the Era of Mass Incarceration by Flores Forbes Invisible Men: A Contemporary Slave Narrative in the Era of Mass Incarceration

by Flores Forbes
Skyhorse Publishing (Oct 11, 2016)
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Flores Forbes, a former leader in the Black Panther Party, has been free from prison for twenty-five years. Unfortunately that makes him part of a group of black men without constituency who are all but invisible in society. That is, the invisible” group of black men in America who have served their time and not gone back to prison.

Today the recidivism rate is around 65%. Almost never mentioned in the media or scholarly attention is the plight of the 35% who don’t go back, especially black men. A few of them are hiding in Ivy League schools’ prison education programs?they don’t want to be known?but most of them are recruited by the one billion dollar industry reentry employee programs that allow the US to profit from their life and labor. Whereas, African Americans consist of only 12% of the population in the US, black males are incarcerated at much higher rates. The chances of these formerly convicted men to succeed after prison?to matriculate as leading members of society?are increasingly slim. The doors are closed to them.

Invisible Men is a book that will crack the code on the stigma of incarceration. When Flores Forbes was released from prison, he made a plan to re-invent himself but found it impossible. His involvement in a plan to kill a witness who was testifying against Huey P. Newton, the founder of the Black Panther Party, had led to his incarceration. While in prison he earned a college degree using a Pell Grant, with hope this would get him on the right track and a chance at a normal life. He was released but that’s where his story and most invisible men’s stories begin.

This book will weave Flores’ knowledge, wisdom, and experience with incarceration, sentencing reform, judicial inequity, hiding and re-entry into society, and the issue of increasing struggles and inequality for formerly incarcerated men into a collection of poignant essays, finally, giving invisible men a voice and face in society.

Click for more detail about The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America by D. Watkins The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America

by D. Watkins
Hot Books (Sep 08, 2015)
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Searing Dispatches from the Urban Zones Where African American Men Have Become an Endangered Species

To many in the age of Obama, America had succeeded in going beyond race, putting the divisions of the past behind us. And then seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by a wannabe cop in Florida; and then eighteen-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; and then Baltimore blew up; and then gunfire shattered a prayer meeting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Suddenly the entire country awakened to a stark fact: African Americans—particularly young black men—are an endangered species.

Now the country’ urban war zone is brought powerfully to life by a rising young literary talent, D. Watkins. The author fought his way up on the east side (the “beast side”) of Baltimore, Maryland—or “Bodymore, Murderland,” as his friends call it—surviving murderous business rivals in the drug trade and equally predatory lawmen. Throughout it all, he pursued his education, earning a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, while staying rooted in his community.

When black residents of Baltimore finally decided they had had enough—after the brutal killing of twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody—Watkins was on the streets when the city erupted. He writes about his bleeding hometown with the razor-sharp insights of someone who bleeds along with it. Here are true dispatches from the other side of America.

Click for more detail about The Little Red Book of Musician’s Wisdom (Little Red Books) by Sheila E. Anderson The Little Red Book of Musician’s Wisdom (Little Red Books)

by Sheila E. Anderson
Skyhorse Publishing (Nov 06, 2012)
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Celebrating both the famous and the obscure from every genre of music—including classical, rock, Latin, country, blues, and hip-hop, The Little Red Book of Musician’s Wisdom offers a touching anecdote or pithy line for every musical occasion. Musicians, critics, DJs, and industry onlookers provide illuminating commentary on a wealth of topics:

? Singing, rehearsing, and performing
? Success, fame, and fortune
? Failure and rejection
? Music critics and industry bigwigs
? Love, passion, and sex
? Aging and death
? Humor and wit
? Religion and spirituality

Individual sections pay particular homage to the words of Ron Carter, T. S. Monk, The Beatles, and Benny Golson. Musicians, music lovers, and those who love hearing from the talented and famous will savor this collection of provocative, mischievous, and profound words from musical personalities of the past and present.

“Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.”—Pablo Casals

“No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music, or it isn’t music.”—Billie Holiday

“Most of the times, once you’re out of the limelight is when you want to be in it.”—Tina Turner

“The sign of a mature musician is knowing what not to play.”—Dizzy Gillespie

Click for more detail about So You Want to Be a Lawyer: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Into and Succeeding in Law School by Timothy B. Francis, Lisa Jones Johnson, Walter C. Jones, and Lisa Fairchild So You Want to Be a Lawyer: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Into and Succeeding in Law School

by Timothy B. Francis, Lisa Jones Johnson, Walter C. Jones, and Lisa Fairchild
Skyhorse Publishing (Oct 16, 2012)
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So You Want to Be a Lawyer takes you through the process of becoming a lawyer, examining each phase in a helpful and easy-to-understand narrative. Find out what practicing law is like before you step into your first law school class! Practice solving legal problems as law students would in law school, and lawyers might in an actual courtroom. After you have read this book, you will have a good idea of the types of problems facing lawyers and law students on a daily basis.

Click for more detail about Farrell by Roland C. Barksdale-Hall Farrell

by Roland C. Barksdale-Hall
Arcade (Jul 16, 2012)
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In 1912, Farrell took its name from James A. Farrell, president of US Steel at the time. Founded 11 years earlier as South Sharon, this lively 20th-century boomtown emerged from swamp and woodlands and was later hailed as "The Magic City." Ripley’s Believe It or Not listed Farrell as having one of the highest numbers of churches and bars per capita. Nationalist churches, ethnic homes, and independent businesses rendered a cosmopolitan flavor. Southern and Eastern European emigrants, as well as Southern migrants, found a safe haven in Farrell, and across the country, Jewish people regarded the city as "The Pearl." By the 1950s, Farrell was a well-known sports title town, a producer of NFL standouts, and home of Sharon Steel, a major US steelmaker that was captured by artist Norman Rockwell. By the 1990s, spunky Farrell had its own library and hospital, had overcome mill closure, and was home of the Instant Urban League.

Click for more detail about Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon by Richard Wright Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon

by Richard Wright
Arcade (Feb 01, 2012)
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Richard Wright, one of the early forceful and eloquent spokesmen for black Americans, author of the acclaimed Native Son and Black Boy, discovered the haiku in the last eighteen months of life. He attempted to capture, through his sensibility as an African-American, the elusive Zen discipline and beauty in depicting man’s relationship, not only to his fellow man as he had in the raw and forceful prose of his fiction, but to the natural world. In all, he wrote over 4,000 haiku.

Here are the 817 he personally chose; Wright’s haiku, disciplined and steeped in beauty, display a universality that transcends both race and color without ever denying them. Wright wrote his haiku obsessively in bed, in cafes, in restaurants, in both Paris and the French countryside. They offered him a new form of expression and a new vision: with the threat of death constantly before him, he found in them inspiration, beauty, and insights. Fighting illness and frequently bedridden, deeply upset by the recent loss of his mother, Ella, Wright continued, as his daughter notes in her introduction, “to spin these poems of light out of the gathering darkness.”

Click for more detail about African Americans in Mercer County (Images of America) by Roland C. Barksdale-Hall African Americans in Mercer County (Images of America)

by Roland C. Barksdale-Hall
Arcade (Jun 01, 2009)
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African Americans in Mercer County have a legacy spanning two centuries of progress. Runaway slaves secreted along stations of the Underground Railroad to Liberia, a settlement founded by Richard Travis. Deep religious convictions provided fertile ground for development of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion connection, known as the Freedom Church, and Pandenarium, an experimental colony of manumitted slaves. In the 20th century, southern migrants found employment in the steel industry and became institution builders. William Hunter Dammond, the first African American graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, found employment as a draftsman. The Twin City Elks of Farrell, a unifying force, was the largest fraternal group in Pennsylvania for two decades. Beginning in 1807 with Thomas Bronson, who acquired 200 acres along the Shenango River near Wheatland, through the culmination of today’s Juneteenth Freedom Day celebration, African Americans in Mercer County chronicles a people’s ongoing journey to freedom.