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Hear Poet Jillian Hanesworth honor the Tops shooting victims

Buffalo Poet Laureate Jillian Hanesworth in the WBFO studio
Jay Moran
Buffalo Poet Laureate Jillian Hanesworth in the WBFO studio

The Jefferson Avenue Tops may reopen Friday, but that hasn't stopped the debate within Buffalo's Black community. Some are adamant the the store should be torn down and replaced by a memorial to honor the 10 Black people who were shot and killed at the site by a racially-motivated gunman on May 14. Others recall the struggle to bring the store to the neighborhood and want it to return to providing fresh food and produce to the many who have grown to rely on it through the years.

Jillian Hanesworth has been hearing the arguments and shares the conflicted emotions. Buffalo's Poet Laureate has written woks in response to the massacre. Her poem "Water" will be part of an in-store memorial to the victims. Still, she's not sure if she will ever step foot in the store.

Buffalo Poet Laureate Jillian Hanesworth reads her poem "Water" in honor of the victims of the mass shooting at the Jefferson Avenue Tops.

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.