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African American Heritage: African American Heritage
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African-American Heritage

The Niagara Movement

Niagara Movement story buttonA landmark in the history of human rights, the Niagara Movement began when scholar W.E.B. DuBois, the first African American to earn a doctoral degree from Harvard, recruited a group of well-educated Black professionals he called "The Talented Tenth" and urged them to create a formal platform for equal rights. A summit was planned for 1905, and DuBois requested a quiet, out of the way place with pastoral recreation options, so it was held at the Erie Beach Hotel in Fort Erie, Ontario. The Declaration of Principles authored by DuBois as a result of this meeting became the basis for the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Buffalonian Mary Talbert played a pivotal role in the advent of the Niagara Movement when she opened her Michigan Avenue home to DuBois, John Hope and 27 others for a secret planning meeting of the famous summit.

Talbert went on to serve as president, vice president and director of the NAACP, and as chairman of its Anti-Lynching Committee, she lobbied nationally for passage of the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill. During WWI, she assisted with war loan drives, and became a Red Cross nurse with the American expeditionary forces in France. A year before her death in 1922, Mary Burnett Talbert became the first African American woman to receive the prestigious NAACP Spingarn Award. She rests today in Forest Lawn.

She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in October, 2005.

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Forest Lawn


Breathtaking historic 269-acre cemetery in the heart of Buffalo, NY. Founded in 1849, Forest Lawn contains outstanding examples of funerary art, including the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Blue Sky…more

African American Cultural Center, Inc.


Since 1958, the core mission of the Center is to promote, sponsor and develop programs and services that exhibit an appreciation of and allegiance to African American heritage. From the…more

Broderick Park

  • 1170 Niagara Street
  • Buffalo, NY 14213
  • Phone: (716) 852-2356


Located at the foot of Ferry Street on the scenic Niagara River, a plaque in the park pays tribute to the men and women who crossed the water from that point to freedom in Canada.

Buffalo City Ballet Co., Inc.


Buffalo City Ballet Co, Inc. was established in 1972 as Buffalo Inner City Ballet to provide young people of color with opportunities to develop skills in classical dance, including ballet, tap and…more

Colored Musicians Club


The Colored Musicians Club is the only remaining African American club of its kind in the United States. In 1999, it was designated a historical preservation site. Currently, the Club is promoting…more

Colored Musicians Club Museum

  • 145 Broadway
  • Buffalo, NY 14203
  • Phone: (716) 842-0969
  • Visit Website


The Colored Musicians Club is the only remaining African American club of its kind in the United States. In 1999, it was designated a historical preservation site. Currently, the Club is promoting…more

Freedom Crossing: The Underground Railroad in Greater Niagara

  • 5795 Lewiston Road
  • Castellani Art Museum
  • Niagara University, NY 14109
  • Phone: (716)286-8200
  • Visit Website


The dramatic and heart-rending stories of the people who risked their lives for freedom, as well as the lasting heritage of their ancestors, can now be experienced at Freedom Crossing, the new…more

Jefferson Street Heritage Gallery

  • 607 Jefferson Avenue
  • Buffalo, NY 14212
  • Phone: (716) 854-8392


The Jefferson Street Heritage Gallery is stocked with collectibles, antiques and research papers from eras long past, with a special section on "Black Buffalo."

Langston Hughes Institute

  • 617 Main Street
  • Buffalo, NY 14203
  • Phone: (716) 844-8831


The Langston Hughes Institute Center for Cultural History and Arts Education is a non-profit organization that has been a catalyst for the development, preservation and promotion of African American…more

Michigan Street Baptist Church


The Michigan Street Baptist Church has been a central part of the history and culture of the African American community in Buffalo for more than 150 years. It is one of the oldest properties in…more

Motherland Connextions

  • 471 Hyde Park Boulevard
  • Niagara Falls, NY 14303
  • Phone: (716) 282-1028
  • Visit Website


Offering Underground Railroad tours, slideshows and mobile classrooms that make heritage tourism exciting. Understand the Underground Railroad by following the footsteps of those brave and hearty…more

Muhammad School of Music

  • 617 Main Street
  • Market Arcade Building, 1st Floor
  • Buffalo, NY 14203
  • Phone: (716)856-4877


Muhammad School of Music was founded in 2000 by violinist Henri Muhammad to cultivate and refine the creative essence of all youth, in particular black and minority youth, through the study of…more

Murphy Orchards


Privately-owned and operated fruit farm, located 25 miles east of Niagara Falls. The farm is believed to have been part of the Underground Railroad network between 1850 and 1861. The farmhouse, barn,…more

Nash House Museum

  • 36 Nash Street
  • Buffalo, NY 14204
  • Phone: (716) 856-4490
  • Visit Website


The former residence of the Rev. J. Edward Nash, the pastor of the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church. Many of Rev. Nash's sermons and letters that are a crucial part of Buffalo's African-American…more

Paul Robeson Theatre

  • 350 Masten Avenue
  • African American Cultural Center
  • Buffalo, NY 14209
  • Phone: (716) 884-2013
  • Visit Website


The Paul Robeson Theatre is the oldest African American theatre in Western New York. Launched initially to nurture the artistic talents of African American playwrights, producers, directors, actors…more

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