In the late 19th century, many African Americans moved up North to create better lives. Industrial cities such as Buffalo offered a great number of opportunities. Here, they found better jobs and better lives for themselves and their families.
Especially during and after World War I, Buffalo presented the African American community with better prospects than the South had.
The Pan-American Exposition of 1901 was a world’s fair that took place in Buffalo from May 1, 1901 to November 2, 1901. At the Paris Exposition in 1900, activists and individuals such as W.E.B. DuBois contributed an entry for the United States, titled the “Negro Exhibit.” This exhibit displayed the life and achievements of the African American population in the years following their emancipation. Buffalo’s African American community in particular wanted to include the exhibit at the next world fair.
Jesse Nash was the pastor of the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church for 61 years and played an important role in the establishment of the Buffalo branch of the NAACP in 1915, as well as the Niagara Movement. He urged his congregation to strive for equal rights. Nash played a significant role in establishing a community on Buffalo’s east side.
Mary Burnett Talbert was one of the most prominent African American activists of her time. She was among the founders of the Niagara Movement and advocated for not only anti-racist movements but female suffrage and women’s rights as well. She spoke on numerous lecture tours about the oppressive conditions that African-American communities faced and encouraged women of all colors to work together for equality.
It’s 2013, and none of us were killed off by the Mayan Apocalypse (fingers crossed). But we’re not through the woods yet – there’s something far more threatening than a potential doomsday looming upon us: the flu.
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