Nate Smith was a 1960’s civil rights activist in Pittsburgh who is best remembered for his work serving African American labor workers. He used his own body to stop bulldozers working on the U.S. Steel Tower and the Three Rivers Stadium because there were no blacks on the job. Smith’s presence was powerful. He led thousands of marchers in Pittsburgh during the black labor union protests. His efforts with U.S. Steel Tower and Three Rivers led to Mayor Joe Barr and Mayor Pete Flaherty cutting a deal with Smith’s Black Construction Coalition to hire 1,250 blacks into the construction unions over the next four years.
Smith was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. in 1929. At age 12, he lied to serve in WWII from 1940-1942. He had dropped out of high school to serve. He and his wife Minnie, (who were married for over 60 years), had three children, Nate Jr., Renee and Sabrina.
Though he could barely read, Smith created Operation Dig in 1969, a new program that helped train disenfranchised groups with the skills they needed for labor jobs. Smith said, ” That’s my philosophy… If you live in America, you should be able to have bacon and eggs on Sunday morning. It means you can work. That you got a job.” In 1970, Smith devised the Pittsburgh Plan, a plan that helped create jobs for minorities through a collaborative effort of government, unions, and activists to ensure the inclusion of African Americans into building trade unions. He was often the target of death threats and attacks because of his aggressive and unrelenting labor equalization efforts. Smith was the victim of a drive-by shooting in which he suffered a shot to the leg. Then during a game at Three Rivers Stadium, Smith’s son was doused with gasoline and set on fire, suffering third-degree burns.
Labor union workers in Pittsburgh attribute the efforts of Smith to their success. According to the New Pittsburgh Courier, Smith helped an estimated 17,000 people get their union cards. He served as executive board member of Operation PUSH/Rainbow Coalition and was invited on several trips to Africa and the Middle East to consult with Golda Meier and Yasser Arafat on construction issues with the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Smith appeared on the cover of Jet Magazine in 1971 and 1974 and was named among Ebony Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Black Americans. At age 75, he finally received his high school diploma.
Smith was mugged while walking to a bus stop in his neighborhood in Pittsburgh. He suffered a head injury, which led to the doctor’s discovery that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He had already been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was legally blind. With a need for constant care, his wife Minnie moved him to a nursing facility.
Nate Smith died on March 31, 2011. He was 82 years old.
(Photo: Post Gazette)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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