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Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition celebrating Black History Month


In honor of Black History Month the Michigan Street Baptist Church is holding several free events this February.

The church is owned by the Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition. Lillie Wiley-Upshaw is the chair of the group and said a big part of their mission is to provide educational programming to the community. This afternoon’s event will talk about the recently screened documentary “The Blackness Project” and feature a dance performance by Naila Ansari.

“She’s going to present a piece entitled Mine Eyes Have Seen,” said Wiley-Upshaw. “So all in all I think we have put together a great assortment of programs to honor Black History Month and also to continue the legacy of the Michigan Street Baptist Church.”

Wiley-Upshaw said since the recent presidential election, many voices have been heard nationally. That includes movements like #MeToo and the women marches. Those issues and concerns are present in Buffalo.

“The challenges that we all face now are challenges that we have faced through history,” said Wiley-Upshaw. “But through that time period, we were always able to find the perseverance… the courage to step out on faith and make a change. It’s no different now.”

Wiley-Upshaw said Just Resisting is just one of several active group in Buffalo.

“Every person who cares about education and about their fellow citizens and about the community in which they live should be a part of all of these conversations. What I hope is that we do see that. That in the audience we will be able to look out and see school children, to see high school kids, to see college students,” said Wiley-Upshaw.

Today’s events start at 4 PM. The church will feature a dance and drum performance this upcoming Thursday at 1 PM.

February 17th, the church will hold re-enactments of the vision and voice of the Chattel Woman. That includes portrayals of Frederick Douglass, Mary B. Talbert, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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