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Michigan Avenue Corridor Gets Boost

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – A local site that is rich with African American history will receive a big face-lift thanks to the City of Buffalo.

The Michigan Avenue Heritage Corridor will receive over one-million dollars for infrastructure improvements from the city.

The site includes the underground railroad, the Nash House, Mary Talbert Home, and the Michigan Street Baptist Church - all which played a role in the Civil Rights movement.

Mayor Anthony Masiello said the changes to Michigan Avenue will add to the region's cultural tourism.

"Realizing the tremendous contribution of African-Americans to our past, but also the significant contributions they are going to be making in the future."

The project will include re-paving, new street lighting, side walks, trees and a park. Former Buffalo Council president, George Arthur, has been working on the project for some time. He said it will include a history of the Niagara Movement.

"There will be foot prints embedded into the concrete. Those footprints will represent Harriet B. Tubman who led people of color to the North for freedom," said Arthur.

Leaders say they plan to have phase one of the project completed by this fall for the start of the Association for African American Life and History convention that will come to Buffalo October 5 through 9.

Dr. Lillian Williams is with the University at Buffalo's School of African American Studies.

"To bring approximately 800 scholars to Buffalo to discuss the issues of race, and place this on our agenda once more," said Williams.

The city is using a combination of state and community development block grant dollars to fund the project.