Banished from Johnstown: Racist Backlash in Pennsylvania

Cody McDevitt

The book details one of the worst racial injustices in local history. This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the incident. In 1923, the mayor of Johnstown, Pa., ordered all Black and Latino people who had lived in the area for less than seven years to leave town. They were forced out at gunpoint and threats of imprisonment. The event drew the attention of black journalists across the country who quickly turned public opinion against the man responsible for the ethnic cleansing. There is currently a play in production that is an adaptation of the book. It will be staged later this year.

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