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Trailblazing sign in honor of Katherine Massey unveiled in Fruit Belt

Katherine Kat Massey Way
Thomas O'Neil-White
Katherine Kat Massey Way

If Katherine Massey was going to do anything, it was going to be putting in the work to improve her Fruit Belt neighborhood.

From organizing the Cherry Street Block Club in the 1990’s to getting the state to adorn the concrete walls separating the Kensington Expressway from Cherry Street with African symbols of welcome, Kat, as she was affectionately known, was going to push for it.

Massey was one of 10 people who lost their life during the May 14 shooting at the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue. She was honored Friday by the City of Buffalo with a Trailblazing Sign Dedication Ceremony. Kat Massey Way runs on Cherry Street from Mortimer Street east to Jefferson Avenue.

Betty Jean Grant memorializes Katherine Massey
Thomas O'Neil-White
Betty Jean Grant memorializes Katherine Massey July 29, 2022.

Her friend, Betty Jean Grant, said Massey was never one to crave the spotlight, she just wanted to help uplift her community.

“She's not a person who you had to praise in public or you had to pat on the back,” she said. “And I think she did it because she knew that that's what God wanted her to do and that's why she was put on this earth for. To not just enrich her own life but improve the lives of others if she can.”

In Grant’s eyes Massey leaves a legacy worthy of emulation.

“Her legacy is going to be a living legacy,” she said. “A legacy of people using her as an example of what one person can do to change a community.”

The Andikra welcome symbols now grace the windows of the newly remodeled Tops on Jefferson Avenue.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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