The Civil Rights movement began long before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a public bus or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began his historic rise to fame as the leader of the civil rights movement. Buffalo was a hub of activity for minority equality and advancement. It was a terminal on the Underground Railroad and a birthplace of what became the NAACP.
From 1927-77 the center of that activity was the YMCA located at 585 Michigan Ave. The “Y” served as the hub of activity in the African American community – from housing single black men who could not get rooms in Buffalo hotels to woman's organizations, sports, remedial job instruction, political groups and other activities.
As part of the observance of Black History Month, The Buffalo African American Museum committee and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library present a historical exhibit to remember and commemorate the history that grew and spread throughout the country from the Michigan Avenue YMCA.
The exhibit grand-opening at the downtown public library is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2. There will be a short program featuring performances, video presentation and a speaker. Each Friday during the month of February there will be a special presentation surrounding the exhibit and Black History.
A press release read, “The exhibit is significant because of the history and contributions African Americans, many of whom became political and civic leaders in Buffalo, made to the building and growth of Buffalo. Many of these leaders are still alive today.”
The exhibit is open during library hours, on the first floor. Admission is free. For more information, contact Clifford Bell at 716-884-4333.