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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Inquiry on the Color Line
In Response To: Inquiry on the Color Line ()

Hello Mr. Shafstein,

I enjoyed reading your articles and your post! I suggest that you interview Mr. Wendell Freeland of Pittsburgh, PA. Below is a link to an interview in 2003 where he talks about his choice not to pass. In the article he talks about casual passing and I recall that he did that in the 1950's. At that time my grandparents were trying to buy a house in Dormont, PA; a Pittsburgh suburb with restrictive covenants. Mr. Freeland, then a young man, served as the straw man to buy the house for my grandparents.

He went on to become very active in civil life. He served as a senior vice president of the National Urban League and was a member of the search committee that selected Vernon Jordan to lead that organization in the 1970s. He's been on any number of boards, including those of Westminster College, University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he had been chairman of the board of governors for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.

Here's a picture of Mr. Freeland with Walkaround Elmo (scroll down on the right); he's got a great sense of humor!

Best wishes on your article,

Lee Cook

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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