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.

Downtown Pittsburgh, Sept. 11, 2001 — A city in shock

September 11, 2020 |

On the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, as the country was in shock from the horrible events in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pa., my job at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was to go out into the abandoned and strangely silent city of Pittsburgh and report what I saw.  Here’s what I wrote: Empty Downtown offers…

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A good re-meeting with crazy talker John McIntire in the hallowed and potent studios of KDKA 1020

April 27, 2017 |

John McIntire kindly asked me to visit his regular Wednesday/Thursday night talk show on KDKA-AM, the powerful and once important radio voice of Pittsburgh that I grew up listening to religiously. They used to say when the world ended, everyone in this tawn would turn to KD Radio’s 50,000-watt signal to get the details. Now,…

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If the feds had seized the Internet in 1983 …

April 27, 2017 |

Supposedly smart people over the age of 11 who have never heard of the failures of the FCC, the FDA, the old ICC, the CAA, the federal ETC, ETC, are running around the USA calling for things like a total government takeover of health care. Others equally naive and historically challenged on the subjects of…

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Nervous cops, dead young black men and the ‘Waistband Excuse’ — nothing new

April 26, 2017 |

The Empty Waistband In a biting dissent, Justice Sotomayor takes aim at the lie that lets police officers shoot unarmed men with impunity. Unfortunately, there’s nothing new about nervous cops, dead black young men and the “Waistband Excuse.” From my book ’30 Days a Black Man,’ here’s a quote from Ray Sprigle’s nationally syndicated newspaper…

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John McIntire invites me to talk about ’30 Days a Black Man’ on KDKA

April 25, 2017 |

Wednesday night at 9 on Newsradio 1020 KDKA John McIntire will grill me without mercy about any fictions or lies I might have put into my book 30 Days a Black Man. Actually, he wants to talk with me about star Post-Gazette journalist Ray Sprigle’s daring and important trip into the 1948 Jim Crow South…

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Ray Sprigle’s daughter Rae discusses her father and ’30 Days a Black Man’ — the video

April 24, 2017 |

Ray Sprigle was undeniably Pittsburgh’s greatest newspaperman. He worked for more than four decades for the Post-Gazette as an editor and reporter, winning a Pulitzer in 1938 for having exposed Supreme Court Justice Hugo Blacks ties to the KKK. A great reporter, a prolific, passionate and authoritative writer, he undertook a handful of undercover investigations…

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Chris Hayes and I have something in common in the Strip

April 24, 2017 |

Chris Hayes of MSNBC and I don’t overlap much when it comes to politics, and his book sales are far higher than mine. But our race-centric works of nonfiction are bumping against each other trying to attract eyeballs in the sidewalk display window of Bradleys’ Books in the Strip District. Hayes’ premise in A Colony…

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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