1839 is a Pittsburgh-based magazine that takes a nuanced look at the intersection of race, politics, the arts, community and culture in the city and beyond. A pilot project of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, the magazine is inspired by the life, work, and legacy of August Wilson’s love of community. This project is supported in part by The Heinz Endowments.
This paragraph is from our about page. It is a succinct explanation of our genesis, our mission, and our vision. In business-speak, this is our elevator speech. But there’s something more important than what we’re about. It’s who we are by, for, and about.
The who of 1839 is broad. 1839 is your cousin, your best friend, that North Side artist on the verge, that activist from the Hill, that playwright who used to be at Pitt, that writer you can’t wait to read again, that guy you always see on the 86 Liberty bus sketching in his notebook, that woman who demands better for her community.
The who of 1839 is also specific: It’s Black folks, in all the ways we choose to be in the world.
For these reasons, 1839’s mere existence is disruptive. An act of revolution. A contribution to the collective memory and history of Black Pittsburgh and beyond. A declaration of our voices and our art as necessary, as transformative, as evolving, as uncompromising, as here.