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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cups of Gold: Coffeeneuring 2016-IV, St. Benedict

10.16.2016 6m
Oct.mtd 112m ytd:2310
#Coffeeneuring 2016-IV: Tazza D'Oro with Karen. Started at CMU's East Garage with some progeny-logistics, then rode a not-too-efficient route to Highland Park.

By the numbers: a double-shot latte, a two-shot machiatto, two pastries. 6 miles.

Later I stopped at Mercy Hospital, and saw this view out of the window:

This reminds me of a current issue in Germany about how the architecture and decoration of buildings documents the tone of their times (see, Anti-Semitic sculpture at Martin Luther's church.

This Pittsburgh church is St. Benedict of the Moors in the Hill District. While usually, a Catholic or Christian church has Jesus up on the roof, I was surprised to learn that this statue isn't Jesus but rather St. Benedict of the Moors - and to use the apt phrase of another writer, it's an inaccurately white-faced St. Benedict the Moor. Because Benedict was black and African, a child born to slaves; it seems to a modern reader that the Church couldn't bring herself to acknowledge his Blackness, and relied on euphemism to convey the meaning. The Italian il moro (the dark-skinned) has been misinterpreted over the years as a reference to Moorish ancestry.

This church was originally built in 1894 by the staff of Duquesne University as an outreach mission to black Americans. The official history skips over the fact that the 1968 demolition was made necessary by damage during the riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King (slideshow , essay ).

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