Black History Month
Each year, in recognition of Black History Month, the Borough of Swissvale celebrates and recognizes outstanding Black Swissvalian residents and business owners who embody the essence of Black History Month by their positive contributions to Swissvale and society at large. The recipients of the Black History Month Honoree designation are recognized publicly at the February Borough Council Meeting and are presented with a plaque highlighting their achievements.
This year, the Swissvale Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee recognized honorees at the February 7, 2024 Borough Council Agenda meeting.
Darrell Bell Sr.
Mr. Bell was born October 2nd, 1953 and raised in North Versailles. He was the next-to-youngest child out of two brothers and one sister. He went to school in the East Allegheny School District and graduated in June 1971. He then went on to Boyce Community College where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management in May 1974.
Mr. Bell and his family moved to Swissvale in 1980. One of his colleagues and mentors, Mr. Martoni, encouraged him to run for Swissvale Borough Council. He did run and became the first African American man to hold a seat on Council. Mr. Bell hoped that by running he would be able to open up doors for more African American leaders to follow in his footsteps. During his 12 years (January 7, 2002 - December 31, 2013) on Council he held the positions of both President and Vice President. He also implemented Swissvale Clean Up Day which is still a vital event in the Swissvale Community today.
Black History Month Past Honorees
Alexander Beasley Sr., Beasley Plumbing
Congresswoman Summer Lee
Summer Lee was born in North Braddock, graduated from Woodland Hills High School, and resides in Swissvale. She has made history twice, first in 2017 when she became the first African American woman from the region to be elected to the state House in Harrisburg where she served from 2018-2022. Most recently, she was elected to the One Hundred Eighteenth Congress, making her the first black woman from Pennsylvania to be elected to Congress.
Tim Jones, Salon Blue
Tim Jones has achieved excellence as a minority business owner, has been a licensed cosmetologist for over 20 years, and recently became a certified Trichologist. As a Trichologist, he is a paramedical professional with a medical focus of the hair and scalp, focusing on the different conditions diseases and disorders of the hair and scalp, and the treatments associated with them. He has provided stability to Swissvale's business district over the last 12 years by maintaining a store front at his current location, Salon Blue LLC, on Noble Street.
(Top Left) A lifelong resident, mother and grandmother, Veryl has served as a leader for the Swissvale Economic Development Corp. (SEDCO), the Mon Valley Initiative (MVI) and the Swissvale Planning Commission for many years.
Union Baptist Church
For their 100 years of existence and longstanding service to the Swissvale Community.
For his years of service with the Swissvale Community Food Pantry.
State Representative Summer Lee
For being the first Black woman elected to serve Southwest Pensylvania in the State House of Representatives.
John "Scrap" Wilson
For his years of service with the Swissvale Baseball and Softball Association.
New Convenant Christian Fellowship
For their 20+ years of existence in the Swissvale Community.