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New tourism guide highlights region's black history

On this first week of Black History Month, the bureau that promotes tourism locally is looking to stress the importance of Buffalo’s African American heritage. Visit Buffalo Niagara has introduced a new African American Heritage Guide, which details Buffalo’s role in black history. VBN President and CEO Patrick Kaler says the nearby African American Heritage Corridor has been a successful destination to market to visitors.

“There’s huge national interest in African American history and then the wonderful story we’re able to tell here in the Buffalo-Niagara region. For people to actually go to these wonderful sites, which have been preserved and put on display and accessible to the public, it’s just a wonderful resource for us to be able to offer,” said Kaler.

Kaler says tourists to the region often take an interest in the Colored Musicians Club, which has hosted performances from jazz legends like Billie Holliday and Dizzy Gillespie.

“It’s definitely one of our staples, whether it be the specific neighborhoods in our community, the art galleries, the music, it all comes into play as to what we sell and promote for our destination,” Kaler said.

One of the many things highlighted in the guide is Buffalo’s role in the Underground Railroad, which was a final stop for those escaping slavery in the south.