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Serving Youth & Families Since 1880
Serving Youth & Families Since 1880

2012 Autumn Soiree and Book Signing

Three Rivers Youth welcomed friends and colleagues to an elegant fund raising dinner and book signing held atop Mt. Washington at LeMont restaurant on Thursday October 11, 2012. With a panoramic view overlooking Pittsburgh’s three rivers and iconic skyline, Pittsburgh-native, educator and author Dr. Jessie B. Ramey presented her award winning book, Child Care in Black and White; a history of orphanages in Pittsburgh. A significant portion of the book covers the earliest days of Three Rivers Youth, founded in 1880 to accommodate African Americans and other children and families prohibited from Allegheny County’s all-white orphanages.


Soiree 4 shot

Pictured left –right:
Historian Dr. Larry Glasco
Peggy Harris, President and CEO of Three Rivers Youth;
Jessie Ramsey, author;
Ingrid Glasco

Using rich new sources available for the first time, Dr.Ramey looks at working parents, children, orphanage managers, reformers, staff members, and the broader community in Pittsburgh from 1878 to 1929.


In this highly readable account, Childcare in Black and White… tells the story of families who used orphanages as an early form of childcare in times of family crisis. The study finds striking similarities and differences between the United Presbyterian Orphan’s Home and the Home for Colored Children – “sister” agencies founded in Pittsburgh by the same person – revealing the gender, race, and class inequalities built into the very foundation of our modern child welfare system. Dr. Ramey combines quantitative analysis of records on over 1,500 children living at the two orphanages with numerous stories of parents struggling to work and care for their families.

Soiree 2 shot

Child Care in Black and White; a history of
orphanages in Pittsburgh, by Jessie B. Ramey.
Published by the Working Class in
American History Series, University of Illinois Press, 2012
To order your hardcover copy, contact Three Rivers Youth. or 412-441-5020 ext. 218.