30 Days a Black Man

In 1948 Pittsburgh's greatest journalist Ray Sprigle went undercover and then shocked the country with his powerful expose of the Jim Crow South. The history book that retells the amazing forgotten story.

Dogging Steinbeck

When Bill Steigerwald retraced the 1960 road trip John Steinbeck made for  'Travels With Charley' in 2010 he found the iconic road book was more fiction than fact. The true story of how Steigerwald changed the way 'Charley' will be read forever.

Exposing Old Jim Crow

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ray Sprigle spent 30 days living like a black man in the segregated South. What he saw made him ashamed to be an American. What he wrote woke up the country. Read his original 1948 series.

Hope and a prayer — and a choice

February 3, 2021 |

Here’s a look back at how the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s inner-city Catholic schools used lots of love and discipline to give young black kids the education they needed and their parents wanted. In 1994 when I realized the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had not written two words about the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s three inner-city “Extra Mile Schools,”…

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Q&A: Fred Singer, the proud godfather of global warning denial, dies at 95

April 13, 2020 |

In 2005 I did one of my weekly Q&As with smart, important, interesting or newsworthy people with Fred Singer, the brilliant scientist and reliable critic of climate change and the idiocy and hysteria associated with it. Global warming is always a hot topic in liberal media circles, where the political and scientific consensus is that…

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Hollywood hasn’t discovered my ’30 Days a Black Man’ history book yet. Perhaps no one out there has read the ‘haunting’ and ‘rollicking’ tale or seen these kindly blurbs from some smart and talented fellow journalists.

April 11, 2020 |

Editorial Reviews Juan Williams at FOX News —– As a story from the Jim Crow past, Bill Steigerwald’s recounting of Sprigle’s mission . . . reminds us of what an honest conversation about race can accomplish as we continue on the path toward a more equitable future. Paul Theroux, travel guru — This is a…

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Pittsburgh 1980

April 11, 2020 |

January 20, 1980 CALENDAR LAST PAGE PITTSBURGH: UP FROM THE SMOKY PITS BY BILL STEIGERWALD This is another in the running Calendar series on cultural scenes this one on Pittsburgh, whose Steelers probably will lose today’s Super Bowl game to the Rams. The writer, a native of Pittsburgh just back for a vacation visit, is…

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The NY Times blames a government ventilator scandal on the private sector

March 30, 2020 |

Wonder why the New York Times is accused of liberal bias and dishonesty? There’s a fresh example on Page 1 of today’s paper of record: The Times’ long, dull investigative piece tells the scandalous tale of how the U.S. government tried to build an emergency stockpile of ventilators for 13 years, but failed. According to…

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Another clueless & imbalanced Uber-hating article, this time from CityLab.com

July 20, 2017 |

In my never-ending mission to challenge the lazy & lame anti-Uber articles written by my fellow journalists who hate Uber, think Uber drivers should earn $60k a year with full health care, and have no clue how awful the typical urban taxicab monopolies were for 80 years, I may have gone overboard. But in case…

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My ‘Sprigle Lecture’ at the Carnegie Library

July 12, 2017 |

More than a hundred people jammed the International Poetry Room at the Carnegie Library in Oakland to hear me babble and rant about my Ray Sprigle book on Thursday July 6. I showed about 30 slides of Sprigle, his guide John Wesley Dobbs and various co-stars of my book. In the crowd was the amazingly…

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Bill's Q&A's

Q&A: Tucker Carlson, before he became King of Cable — and GOP presidential timber

Tucker Carlson of Fox News has risen to the top of the cable news heap to become the most-watched, most-hated and most influential commentator in our politically fractured and deeply divisive country. He’s so popular, now he’s being touted as a Republican presidential candidate for 2024. The Washington Post, his former colleagues at MSNBC and…
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Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald is a veteran journalist from Pittsburgh. His new nonfiction book "30 Days a Black Man" tells the amazing but forgotten story about an undercover mission by a Pittsburgh newspaperman into the Jim Crow South in 1948 that shook up the whole country. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette star reporter Ray Sprigle's nationally syndicated series "In the Land of Jim Crow" exposed the iniquities and humiliations suffered by ten million black Americans in the segregated South. It shocked the white people of the North, angered the South and started the first national debate in the media about ending America's legal apartheid. Kirkus Review said "30 Days a Black Man" is "a fascinating account of an anti-Jim Crow muckraking adventure..." that Steigerwald turned "into rollicking, haunting American history." ... READ MORE