Throughout recent years, the city of Pittsburgh has been receiving national attention. The attraction the city has to the world may be attributed to its unique nature to encompass, within its 58 square miles, the culture and representation to rival several larger cities. Drawing business giants such as Google and Uber is no easy feat for a city whose population is only a mere 300k. The city has and constantly delivers new and exciting attractions. However, most notably about the city is its unique and refreshing takes on art and culture. From places such as Randy Land to Boom Concepts, from the Cultural District to FlowerHouse, from The Shop to City of Asylum, the people of Pittsburgh have taken art and culture to brand it with a proverbial sense of ownership and creativity only found in the city of steel.
Recently, there have been efforts to highlight the vein of black arts and culture pulsing beneath the city. “The Black Beneath The Gold”, presented by SYLA Pgh, is one such effort. Whereas other projects focus on the traditional black arts, “The Black Beneath The Gold” focuses on art as a conjunction and enhancement of culture. Throughout each neighborhood in Pittsburgh, there are black artists and cultural workers who deliver projects and efforts with more flare and “je ne sais quoi” than the most famous of artists. SYLA, an arts production company formed by Samantha Black, seeks to make a docuseries of video chronicles highlighting Black cultural assets of the predominantly Black neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. The various makers, developers, creatives, barbers, beat makers, or hairstylists who often go unnoticed and the neighborhoods that they inhabit that are seen by too many as barren.
By highlighting its under recognized cultural assets, this project helps to sustain the cultural growth of the neighborhood and facilitate the transmitting of knowledge both within and across communities.