Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 16, Number 1, Spring, 2004 Page: 40
This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Legacies: a History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Dallas Historical Society.
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THE DISSIDENT VOICE OF
WILLIAM SIDNEY PITTMAN
BY CAROLYN PERRITT
nDallas, as in any city, the alternative press
provides a voice for groups-whether political,
social or ethnic-not fully represented by
the mainstream daily newspapers. AfricanAmerican
weekly papers, such as the Dallas
Weekly or the former Dallas Express, are intended
to serve the interests of the African-American
community. However, a race does not necessarily
speak with one voice. In the 1930s an alternative
weekly to the Dallas Express appeared, the
Brotherhood Eyes. An idiosyncratic paper published
by the brilliant, but eccentric William
Sidney Pittman, it was a dissident voice in the
African-American community.While the Dallas
Express, like most African-American papers of
the first half of the twentieth century, was concerned
with the position of the race within
American society as a whole, the Brotherhood
Eyes was a critical instrument of the AfricanAmerican
community, aiming at those who did
not maintain high moral standards.
William Sidney Pittman was born in 1875
to a laundress and unknown father in
Montgomery, Alabama. At age seventeen, he
began his studies at the Tuskegee Normal and
Industrial Institute in Alabama, the school established
by the famous educator Booker T.
Washington. Because Pittman excelled in his
studies at Tuskegee, the Institute awarded him a
scholarship to Drexel Institute, where he
obtained a degree in Architectural Drawing from
the all-white Philadelphia university. He
returned to Tuskegee in 1900 to teach for the
next five years, then moved to Washington, DC,
and established his own architectural practice.
William Sidney Pittman
Pittman was successful there, receiving some
important commissions, including the Garfield
Public School and the Twelfth StreetYMCA. He
further distinguished himself by winning the
competition for the Negro Building at the
Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition, becoming
the first African-American architect to obtain a
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 16, Number 1, Spring, 2004, periodical, 2004; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35092/m1/42/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.