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Sala Udin

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Information about Sala Udin

Profile image of Sala Udin

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
San Francisco, California
Favorite Quote:
Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand. It Never Has, and It Never Will.

Birthplace

Born:
2/20/1943
Birth Location:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
San Francisco, California
Favorite Quote:
Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand. It Never Has, and It Never Will.

Birthplace

Born:
2/20/1943
Birth Location:
Pittsburgh
See how Sala Udin is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Politician and activist Sala Udin was born Samuel Wesley Howze on February 20, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to William and Mary Howze. Raised in the Hill District of the city, he was one of eleven children. In 1961, Udin graduated from Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, New York and joined the Freedom Rider campaign that same summer.

Upon his return from the segregated South, Udin served as the president of the State Island Chapter of the NAACP for three years. In 1963, Udin took a group of college students to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. give his “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington. The following year, he worked for the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project registering voters in Holmes County. The next year, in 1965, Udin co-founded the Centre Avenue Poets’ Theatre Workshop in his childhood neighborhood of the Hill District with friends and renown playwrights, August Wilson and Rob Penny. By 1967, Udin had become a strong advocate of Black Power attending numerous conferences and started the performing arts company, Black Horizons Theatre, modeled after Amiri Baraka’s Spirit House. Over the next four years, the company produced plays reflective of the Black Arts Movement and used black playwrights such as Sonia Sanchez, Ed Bullins, and Amiri Baraka. The programs were held in the Leo A. Weill School. Additionally, Udin helped to establish a Black Studies program at the University of Pittsburgh and published articles in The Pittsburgh Courier entitled, “Afrikan View.”

Beginning in 1968, Udin had numerous run-ins with the law including gun charges and driving without a valid license. In 1970, he was indicted in Louisville, Kentucky for illegal transportation of firearms and possession of distilled spirits. Sentenced to five years at a federal penitentiary, he began serving his sentence at the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in 1972. Seven months later, he was paroled. In 2006, he attempted to have his sentence pardoned.

Throughout the mid-1970s, Udin worked in social service agencies including as Executive Director at the House of Crossroads, a drug treatment facility and the Multicultural Resource Training Center in San Francisco. He moved back to Pittsburgh in 1992, and ran for City Council in a special election in 1995. He served as Councilmen for the Sixth District, his childhood neighborhood for ten years. As a councilman, he introduced legislation to establish a Citizen’s Police Review Board and sat on numerous committees including the Plan B Oversight Committee, which helped to provide jobs to women and minorities; the Housing Authority: City of Pittsburgh Board; and the Disparity Study and Implementation Commission.

In 2005, Udin lost in the primary to former employee Tonya Payne. Udin advocates the improvement of the Sixth District and was instrumental in the creation and maintenance of the Freedom Corner, a civil rights monument located in the Hill District neighborhood.

Udin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 12, 2008.

See how Sala Udin is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sala Udin's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sala Udin lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sala Udin describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sala Udin talks about his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sala Udin describes his mother's background and education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sala Udin talks about his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sala Udin talks about potential family ties in his paternal ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sala Udin describes his father's life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sala Udin talks about his parents and his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sala Udin recalls his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sala Udin describes his childhood neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sala Udin recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sala Udin describes his experience at Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Catholic school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sala Udin talks about his classmates in the school at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, including Rob Penny and August Wilson
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sala Udin talks about his grade school years at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sala Udin recalls his fifth-grade teacher at Pittsburgh's Holy Trinity Catholic Church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sala Udin talks about the roles of church and of the community in shaping his values
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sala Udin recalls television and film during his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sala Udin describes the Hill District community of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sala Udin talks about the Crawford Grill jazz club and the Negro League baseball teams in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sala Udin talks about jazz artist George Benson and other musicians from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sala Udin recalls moving from the Lower Hill District to the Bedford Dwellings projects in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sala Udin describes his year at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sala Udin talks about his experience at Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sala Udin describes moving to New York City with his friends
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sala Udin describes moving in with his aunts and his cousin in Staten Island, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sala Udin recalls Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, New York, seeing Malcolm X in Harlem, and the 1963 March on Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sala Udin recounts his semester studying to be an undertaker at the American Academy McAllister Institute
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sala Udin talks about his involvement in the NAACP Youth League
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sala Udin recounts meeting a representative of SNCC and his decision to go to Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sala Udin recounts his arrival in Durant, Mississippi in 1965, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sala Udin recounts his arrival in Durant, Mississippi in 1965, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sala Udin describes ideological changes in the Civil Rights Movement during the mid-1960s, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sala Udin describes ideological changes in the Civil Rights Movement during the mid-1960s, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sala Udin talks about his role as a black northerner and the role of white liberals in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sala Udin explains SNCC's safety trainings for incoming civil rights workers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sala Udin recounts his confrontation with Mississippi police during the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sala Udin recounts his confrontation with Mississippi police during the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sala Udin recounts his confrontation with Mississippi police during the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 3
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sala Udin reflects upon the expulsion of white civil rights workers from SNCC, and on the philosophy of nonviolence
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sala Udin talks about returning to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1968
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sala Udin describes moving from Mississippi back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1968
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sala Udin describes his entry into the Black Power, Black Arts, and Black Nationalist movements
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sala Udin talks about the Black Power Movement's strategies and the origin of the House of the Crossroads drug treatment program
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sala Udin describes August Wilson and Rob Penny's Black Horizon Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sala Udin talks about Amiri Baraka, HistoryMaker Maulana Karenga, and the formation of the Congress of African People
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sala Udin talks about Amiri Baraka and the Congress of African People's transition from cultural nationalism to Marxism-Leninism
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sala Udin recalls his 1972 incarceration for transporting a rifle across state lines
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Sala Udin talks about leaving the Congress of African People after its transition from a Black Nationalist to a Marxist-Leninist focus
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Sala Udin recounts the decline of the Congress of African People in the late 1970s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Sala Udin talks about his first marriage
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Sala Udin talks about moving to California in 1982 to lead the Multicultural Training Resource Center
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Sala Udin describes disengaging from local politics and leaving his sons in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after moving to California in 1982
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Sala Udin talks about raising AIDS awareness through the Multicultural Training Resource Center in the San Francisco Bay Area of California
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Sala Udin describes his life in California and traveling as a diversity consultant for the Multicultural Training Resource Center
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Sala Udin talks about the death of his mother, the death of his friend Jake Milliones, and his first run for Pittsburgh City Council
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Sala Udin recalls his 1995 election to the City Council of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Sala Udin talks about fighting police brutality on the Pittsburgh City Council after the 1995 killing of Jonny Gammage in police custody
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Sala Udin recounts his accomplishments on the City Council of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Sala Udin recounts his accomplishments on the City Council of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Sala Udin talks about leaving the Pittsburgh City Council and becoming President of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Sala Udin describes the Coro Center for Civic Leadership's training program
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Sala Udin talks about his second marriage
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Sala Udin talks about what he would do differently
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Sala Udin describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Sala Udin talks about his two living sons
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Sala Udin talks about his acting experience and the beginning of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Sala Udin describes how he would like to be remembered