Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories Central Library Hosts Michigan Street African American Heritage Exhibit

Founders of the Niagara Movement pictured in 1905. The Niagara Movement was a civil rights group organized by W.E.B. DuBois and William Monroe Trotter in 1905.  After being denied admittance to hotels in Buffalo, New York, the group of 29 business owners, teachers, and clergy who comprised the initial meeting gathered at Niagara Falls, from which the group’s name derives. 

Founders of the Niagara Movement pictured in 1905. The Niagara Movement was a civil rights group organized by W.E.B. DuBois and William Monroe Trotter in 1905.  After being denied admittance to hotels in Buffalo, New York, the group of 29 business owners, teachers, and clergy who comprised the initial meeting gathered at Niagara Falls, from which the group’s name derives. 

To observe Black History Month, The Buffalo African American Museum committee and the Stake holders in the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor are joining with the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library in presenting a month long exhibit of African American heritage that spans the Jim Crow era, the Underground Railroad, the birth and growth of black music, and the birthof the Civil Rights movement. 

Join us at the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library February 17, at 1:00 PM for the grand opening of the wonderful exhibit that features artifacts and historic information on how Buffalo was a pivotal point in the underground railroad and also the birth place of what would become the NAACP. The exhibit will also chronicle the history of the black music culture in Buffalo, African American broadcasting in Buffalo, and the role the Michigan Avenue YMCA played in shaping the character of many Buffalo African American youth who then went on to become leaders in business, politics, industry, sports and entertainment.

The grand opening will kick off Wednesday, February 17th in the 1st floor exhibit area of the Buffalo and Erie County Central library at 1 PM. There will be performances by historic re-enactors in period dress and a kids area with activities for children. The press conference including performances will be no more than 1 hour. 

The stake holders in the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor are the Michigan Street Baptist Church, The Nash House, The Colored Musician’s Club, and WUFO AM radio. This is the first time all of the stake holders have held a joint event and it promises to be very educational. For more information contact Clifford Bell, Chairman of the Buffalo African American Museum Committee at 884-4333


Michigan Street African American Heritage  Corridor Launches “Friends of the Corridor” 

In honor of African American History Month, the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor (MSAAHC) brings to life the national theme, “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories.”   The Commission is seeking “Friends of the Corridor” to help preserve those sacred spaces that keep alive the memories of African American history in Western New York alive.  Preservation is not only the physical preservation, but also the perpetuation of the history created there.   

On Saturday, February 27 there will be tours of the church with insights on the numerous ways in which slaves resisted slavery besides running away.  Dr. Steve Peraza, Buffalo State College History lecturer, will present “Suing the Master: Slave Litigation in Eighteenth-Century Louisiana.” The day will also include educational tours of The Nash House and The Colored Musicians Museum, information on how to get involved, refreshments and much more.

Friends are asked to commit to at least 10 volunteer hours per year for activities ranging from event support to serving as museum docents.  The friends will serve as ambassadors... greeting visitors, assisting with programs, giving tours, and maintaining and preparing gardens to beautify the area.

Interested? Besties or “Best Friends” are being asked to donate to assist us in supporting MSAAHC programs that need additional support. Sign up onthe MSAAHC website, www.michiganstreetbuffalo.org in time for the “Preserve, Protect and Honor our Hallowed Grounds” scheduled for 2p.m. on Saturday, February 27 in the Michigan Street Baptist Church which is located at 511 Michigan Street.  

For more information and to fill out a “FRIENDS (Volunteer) APPLICATION” Call 259-8888, email info@michiganstreetbuffalo.org or go to: www.michiganstreetbuffao.org