On this dayAug 22, 1905

Black Man Attacked for Seeking Service in Pittsburgh Restaurant

On August 22, 1905, an African American man named Charles Julius Miller and an unnamed African American woman entered the Café Neapolitan in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The couple was immediately refused service and ordered to leave. When Mr. Miller refused to exit, a “free-for-all” ensued in which white patrons and staff attacked Mr. Miller, who pulled out a gun for protection after being attacked. The violence left many people injured and resulted in approximately 50 arrests. Mr. Miller was among those hospitalized for his injuries.

Racial segregation and violence plagued the U.S. throughout the early 20th century and was not an exclusively Southern problem. Riots and disturbances like these took place throughout the country, and racial segregation and bias remained pervasive problems nationwide.

As was common at the time, mainstream, white-run newspapers reported the Pittsburgh restaurant incident as having been caused by the African American who dared enter an establishment where he did not belong and made no critique of the injustice of racial segregation.

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