- Wendell Freeland
Part of Pittsburgh City Paper's month-long celebration of Black History Month
On Sat., Feb. 9, Pittsburghers will get a chance to learn even more about Freeland during a screening of the documentary Wendell Freeland: A Quiet Soldier, directed by Pittsburgh native Billy Jackson and premiered in 2017.
"Wendell Freeland devoted seventy years to fighting injustice wherever he found it,” Jackson said in a press release. “He blazed a trail for racial equality by working largely behind the scenes in America’s courtrooms, boardrooms, and political backrooms.”
Freeland was able to pass as white thanks to his light skin tone, but he was born into a segregated Baltimore neighborhood and attended Howard University, the historically Black college. He worked as a lawyer in Downtown Pittsburgh for decades. Freeland passed away in 2014.
The documentary explores the tales of Freeland’s life, service, and civil-rights quest. The film’s soundtrack includes various renditions of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black National Anthem that Freeland often referenced as his inspiration. The screening, hosted by the African American Celebration of the Arts, will take place at the Braverso theater at Focus on Renewal in McKees Rocks.
A reception precedes the screening. After the film, viewers can participate in a Q&A with producer Tom Poole.
Wendell Freeland: A Quiet Soldier. Sat., Feb. 9. 2-4 p.m. 500 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. Free. forstorox.org