East Pittsburgh: White Supremacy, Radical Relationships, and Chosen Family


  • Norman Conti


This piece is a follow-up to “Stanton Heights” (Kalfou 5, no. 2 [2018]: 372–393), further considering the learning that takes place at the nexus of policing and the Black community. Specifically, it continues the stories of Leon Ford, a Black teenager shot and paralyzed by a Pittsburgh police officer; the murder of three Pittsburgh police officers by a deranged white supremacist; and Ralph Malakki Bolden, a genius-level intellect and remarkable peacemaker originally sentenced to death for the execution of a gun store owner and attempted murder of the store’s employee in an effort to secure weapons for defending his community against rival gangs. On their surfaces, the circumstances of these men would seem unrelated, but as the narrative plays out, unexpected connections reveal an ever-widening circle of complicity. Additionally, this piece addresses the unwarranted police killing of local teenager Antwon Rose Jr. and the protests that followed.