I’ve included references to East Liberty—a neighborhood in Pittsburgh’s East End—in pieces I’ve written for VSB, Ebony, Slate and GQ, and it’s peppered throughout my book. There’s an entire chapter, for instance, devoted to the changes it’s undergone in the past 20 years.
I do this because it’s where I spent many of my formative years. My parents moved to East Liberty when I was 9, and we lived there until I was 16. When I’m asked where in Pittsburgh I’m from, East Lib is the answer. Also, East Liberty is the nexus of a massive redevelopment and gentrification campaign occurring in the city now. What’s happening there is what’s happening in some parts of Brooklyn and Harlem in New York City and Washington, D.C., and other places.