Traveling Exhibit

Bring the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor to you!

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Learn the Story

For more than 400 years, African Americans have made New York State home.

 

This exhibit explores the earliest histories of African Americans in Buffalo and the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor and the trailblazers who fought for this community.

Fur Trading
Fur Trading

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Freedom Seekers
Freedom Seekers

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Michigan Ave
Michigan Ave

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Fur Trading
Fur Trading

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Colored Musician's Club
Colored Musician's Club

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Chinese Merchants
Chinese Merchants

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Archway
Archway

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Colored Musician's Club
Colored Musician's Club

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Share the History

The exhibit explores the history of the Corridor through eight thematic panels

  1. Freedom Seekers & Community Builders

  2. Freedom Fighters & the Abolition Movement

  3. Education Rights

  4. Lifting as We Climb & Civil Rights

  5. A Community for Success

  6. Music in the Corridor

  7. Preserving the Legacy of the Corridor

  8. The Corridor Today

 

Rent the Exhibit

Black history doesn't need to be relegated to a week in February or one unit in US history.

 

We allow schools and libraries to rent our traveling exhibit as a teaching tool for free. Donations are appreciated but not required. 

We teach African American students about the resilience of their ancestors right in their hometown,  and give white students the tools necessary to begin to understand. By teaching hard history at a young age, students are better equipped with means of understanding color bias and prejudice

 

Organizations and businesses can rent it for a small fee for their visitors and staff to familiarize themselves with the rich but underrepresented Buffalo history. 

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Traveling Exhibit Bibliography for Further Reading

Armfield, Felix, “The Rev. J. Edward Nash House: A Cornerstone of History and Culture.” WNY Heritage Magazine, January 2004.

Blatto, Anna “A City Divided: Brief History of Segregation in Buffalo.” Partnership for the Public Good. 2018

Brooks-Bertram, Peggy, Barbara Seals Nevergold, and Lisa C. Francescone. Uncrowned Queens: African American Women Community Builders of Western New York. Buffalo, NY: Uncrowned Queens Pub., 2002.

Cichon, Steve. “Buffalo Stories Archives & Blog.” Buffalo Stories Archives & Blog. Accessed 2021. https://blog.buffalostories.com/.

Fordham, Monroe. Major Themes in Northern Black Religious Thought, 1800-1860. Hicksville, N.Y: Exposition Press, 1975.

Fraser, Alison. “Little Harlem Club Collection.”  Rare Books Room, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Buffalo, NY, October 2013.

Historic Structures Report for the Michigan Street Baptist Church. Crawford & Stearns Architects and Preservation Planners and Historical New York Research Associates. The Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition. Buffalo, NY, 2013

LaChiusa , Chuck. Buffalo Architecture and History. University at Buffalo. Accessed 2021. https://buffaloah.com/.

Louis Taylor, Jr., Henry, The Historic Roots of the Crisis in Housing Affordability: The Case of Buffalo, New York, 1920-1950 (2011), in Robert Mark Silverman, Kelly L. Patterson (eds.), Fair and Affordable Housing in the U.S.: Trends, Outcomes and Future Directions. Boston: Brill, 2011 and Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012.

Nyhuis, Philip “Jazz: It’s Never Too Late.” Buffalo Spree, May/June 2005.

"Michigan Street Baptist Church; History; 1836-1908." Michigan Street Baptist Church. Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State.

Peterson, Susan, “The Routes The Slaves Followed to Freedom Underground Railroad Stations Scattered Around Western New York.” Buffalo News, February 27, 1994.

Seals Nevergold, Barbara, and Peggy Brooks-Betram. “Uncrowned Community Builders.” Uncrowned Community Builders, 1999. https://www.uncrownedcommunitybuilders.com/.

Seals Nevergold, Barbara. Ida D. Fairbush – Buffalo’s First African American Teacher: A Pioneer. Uncrowned Queens Publishing, Buffalo, NY, 2019.

A Vision for the Michigan Street Heritage Corridor. SUNY Buffalo Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor. Buffalo, NY, 2011.

Williams, Lillian Serece. Strangers in the Land Of Paradise: The Creation of an African American Community, Buffalo, New York, 1900-1940. Indiana University Press, 1999.

Photo Credits

  1. Map of Buffalo ca. 1805 Courtesy of the New York State Archives

  2. Fur traders in Canada, 1777. Originally from William Faden's "A map of the Inhabited Part of Canada from the French Surveys; with the Frontiers of New York and New England. Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

  3. Lewis, Samuel, 1753 Or , Cartographer, William Harrison, and Mathew Carey. The state of New York. [Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1795] Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/2018590093/.

  4. International Industrial Fair, and Gies & Co. All roads will lead to Buffalo in September. [Buffalo: Gies & Co., lithographers, 1888] Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/2004625832/.

  5. Erie Canal construction View of Buffalo, on the shore of Lake Erie, before completion of the Erie Canal in 1825. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

  6.  Brown, William Wells. Clotel, image title “A Negro Hunt In The Southern States,” University Library, UNC-Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004. Page 137.

  7. Runaway Slave Reward. Library of Congress, American Memory.

  8. MSBC - Michigan Street Baptist Church with newsboys on steps, ca. 1895. Collection of The Buffalo History Museum. General photograph collection.

  9. Ida Fairbush and School #6 students, circa 1899, Courtesy of Mr. Lum Smith.

  10. Vine Street African School: 19th Annual Report of the Superintendent of Schools of the City of Buffalo for 1855

  11. Niagara Falls., 1899. [Jacksonville, Illinois: publisher not transcribed] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2018756707/.

  12. Mary B. Talbert standing portrait. Collection of The Buffalo History Museum. General photograph collection.

  13. Mary B. Talbert seated at table, possibly with Anna Talbert. Collection of The Buffalo History Museum. Mary B. Talbert photograph collection, Picture . T35, folder 4.

  14. Watercolor of Talbert House at 521 Michigan Avenue by Ida Fairbush. Collection of The Buffalo History Museum. Mary B. Talbert photograph collection, Picture . T35, folder 30.

  15. Slater, R. P, photographer. Niagara Movement founders. United States New York Ontario Niagara Falls, 1905. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2014645233/.

  16. Phyllis Wheatley Club of Buffalo, 1904.

  17. Intersection of Michigan and Carlton, looking south on Michigan, October 16, 1951. Michigan Market, Carlton Bar & Grill, and Antique & Variety Shop, and Eljer Fine bathrooms visible on corners. Photo by Robert J. Koch.

  18. Y.M.C.A. Michigan Avenue Branch interior view of game room. Collection of The Buffalo History Museum. Hauser Bob photograph collection, Picture .B63, Buildings - Recreation - YMCA

  19. Suey Gee Chan Co. Chinese goods located at 507 Michigan Avenue. Collection of The Buffalo History Museum. Goldome/Nagle photograph collection.

  20. Michigan Street YMCA, Courtesy of Clifford Bell.

  21. John Edmonston Brent (1889-1962), Michigan Avenue Branch Y.M.C.A., Buffalo, N.Y., 11-1-1926; graphite and transparent watercolor wash on paper, 12 7/8 x 22 /16 inches; Lent by Descendants of John E. Brent.

  22. Little Harlem Hotel original interior, 1923.
    Collection of The Buffalo History Museum. General photograph collection. Collection of The Buffalo History Museum. General photograph collection, Streets – Michigan

  23. From Buffalo Afro-American pictures of historic events, scanned in the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Buffalo State College”.  Locations: Buffalo State College Archivist’s Office & Buffalo/Erie County Public Library, Merriweather Branch special collections. 

  24. From Buffalo Afro-American pictures of historic events, scanned in the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Buffalo State College”.  Locations: Buffalo State College Archivist’s Office & Buffalo/Erie County Public Library, Merriweather Branch special collections. 

  25. On bandstand – Elvin Shepherd, Unknown, Bob Crump, Frankie Dunlop, James Legge, Boyd Lee Dunlop, From Buffalo Afro-American pictures of historic events, scanned in the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Buffalo State College”.  Locations: Buffalo State College Archivist’s Office & Buffalo/Erie County Public Library, Merriweather Branch special collections. 

  26. Maurice Sinclair on Drums. From Buffalo Afro-American pictures of historic events, scanned in the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Buffalo State College”.  Locations: Buffalo State College Archivist’s Office & Buffalo/Erie County Public Library, Merriweather Branch special collections. 

  27. Michigan Street Baptist Church, circa early 2000’s. Photo courtesy of the Henderson Family.

  28. George K Arthur

  29. Bishop William Henderson

  30. Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission Archway.

  31. Historic Colored Musician’s Club & Jazz Museum Exterior

  32. Historic Colored Musician’s Club & Jazz Museum Interior

  33. Michigan Street Baptist Church Interior

  34. Restored view of the Nash House. Hamilton Houston Lownie, Architects 2003.

  35. Nash House Interior

  36. WUFO Radio Exterior

  37. WUFO Radio Interior

  38. Michigan Street Baptist Church Exterior

  39. Nash House Exterior

  40. Ceremony for the Michigan Street Baptist Church. Shown are Rev. and Mrs. Jesse Nash, Sr. and Jesse Jr., ca. 1935. Collection of The Buffalo History Museum. Mary B. Talbert photograph collection, Picture . T35, folder 29A. 

  41. Cooper Center analysis of 2010 Census data, The Washington Post. 1 dot = 1 person