By Jasiri X
Most people when they hear about Pittsburgh think of one thing...the Steelers. Unless you've lived here or visited the neighborhoods of Homewood, the Hill District, or parts of the Northside (to name a few), you probably don't know about the level of violence in Pittsburgh. If you watched our video "America's Most Livable City" you might assume that a city with the poorest Black community in the nation, also has it's far share of homicides, and you'd be right.
This year, Pennsylvania finally relinquished it's title as the state with the most Black homicides, now we're in second place behind Missouri. Most people credit Philly for that dubious distinction, but last year Pittsburgh saw it's number of murders increase by 41%. To make matters even worse, Pittsburgh Police's homicide clearance rate dropped to it's second lowest rate in a decade. Plus the city's new crime prevention program called, "Pittsburgh's Initiative to Reduce Crime" is already being labeled a failure.
According to the New Pittsburgh Courier:
"The average homicide victim in 2010 was a 33–year-old Black male with four prior arrests, most likely shot on the North Side, in the Hill District or the East End with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol in the early morning hours of a Saturday in July. The average shooter was a 29-year-old Black male with four prior arrests. The motive was likely retaliation. And according to the clearance-rate data, there is a 46 percent chance that he is still at large."
This is why we decided to dedicate our latest video to the problem of violence in our community. "City of Steel" was filmed on Pittsburgh's Northside at, Northview Heights housing project, Allegheny County General Hospital, Zone No.1 Police Station, Union Dale Cemetery, and the newly reopened state prison, SCI Pittsburgh. "City of Steel" was produced by Rel!g!on and directed by Paradise Gray.
This is the third video, in the four video series entitled "The Pittsburgh Press", which was made possible by a generous Seed Award from the Sprout Fund.
Related Brother Jesse Blogs featuring Jasiri X:
Jasiri X asks: Which Rappers are on X? (12.28.2010)
Hip Hop Artist Jasiri X signs with Vancouver Record Label Wandering Worx Entertainment (10.10.2010)
What if the Tea Party was Black? [Video Premiere by Jasiri X] (7.14.2010)
Album Review: Jasiri X’s American History X is a fully loaded hip-hop mental jacket (1.28.2010)
The Hip-Hop Branding Genius of Jasiri X and Paradise Gray; "President Obama" joins the season finale (12.06.2009)
"Dear Debra-A Letter to BET" by Jasiri X....we interrupt your regularly scheduled Hip-Hop buffoonery (10.28.2009)