There was a recent report that listed New York State as one of the most segregated states in the United States of America, with several New York Counties falling into the Highly Segregated category.

While this may come as a surprise to some people, racial segregation is not something that is new in the Empire State.

The history of segregation in Buffalo and Western New York goes back many years and every neighborhood in the area has been impacted by its history. The legacy of segregation has been seen in the areas public/affordable housing and in private home sales thanks to things like redlining.

What Is Redlining

According to the Partnership for the Public Good, a Buffalo community-based think tank, redlining is an illegal practice of discriminating against minorities by systematically denying access to mortgages, insurance, and other financial products solely based on where the person lived, or wanted to live, and had nothing to do with their income or credit worthiness.

Literal red lines were drawn on maps to denote the areas where it was acceptable to do business in and not do business. Those lines almost always also mapped where minorities lived.

United States Library of Congress
United States Library of Congress

Residential Security Maps where created in the early 1930s by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), a federal housing agency that was a precursor to the Federal Housing Administration, to provide loan officers, appraisers and other housing professionals where it was acceptable to provide their services. Neighborhoods that were considered high risk to do business in were redlined out and those areas almost always denoted where minorities lived.

Buffalo Is Still Segregated Today

PPGs 2018 report A City Divided goes into details about how segregation in Buffalo, and other areas, was not only sponsored by the government and government officials, but endorsed.

Both the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the New York Department of Financial Services have done investigations into continued redlining and segregation in Buffalo and they have found the issues continue as they have for decades.

Community Gathering for Reflection, Healing, and Hope in Buffalo

Several hundred people descended upon filled More than 16,000 people piled into the Johnnie B Wiley Amateur Athletic Sports Pavilion on Jefferson Ave to focus on reflection, healing, and hope in response to the aftermath of that terrible act of domestic terrorism. The Community Gathering for Reflection, Healing, and Hope occured on Saturday, May 13, 2023. It featured entertainment and activities to help honor the lives that were lost and impacted during the mass shooting in Buffalo 1 year ago.

10th Annual Mental Health Awareness Fair and Flash Mob

A resource fair took place on the 1st floor of the Buffalo Central Library that featured tabling from youth and adult resources, local providers, and wellness opportunities., along with Music & Dancing, Participatory Games & Raffles, Activities, and Workshops to celebrate the strengths in the community and raising awareness about mental health and community needs.

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