At February’s borough council meeting, Bridgeville Mayor Betty Copeland noted that this is national Black History Month.
She also reminded the audience why any day of the year would be suitable to celebrate the achievements of 92-year-old Bridgeville resident George Barbour.
An award-winning journalist who was Pittsburgh’s first African-American broadcast reporter, Barbour’s work made a clear impact on the city and nation.
His reporting helped change the city of Pittsburgh’s hiring practices. His coverage of school inequality was cited in Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s briefs in Brown v. Board of Education. He also documented the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr’s march in Selma.
As a newspaper reporter, Barbour worked alongside legendary photographer Teenie Harris. As a soldier during World War II, Barbour was involved in a homefront incident in which German war prisoners refused to serve black Americans in hospital. As an author, Barbour documented the history of Western Pennsylvania’s early black aviators.
Here in Bridgeville, Barbour helped was president of the civic league for nearly two decades and helped launched the borough’s recycling program in the early 1990s.
“He was a tireless advocate for using his broadcast journalism platform to fight discrimination wherever he found it,” Copeland said.