Online Forum–Black Buffalo

Buffalo, New York, ‘March for our Lives’ event- Local Politicians and activists start the march with a large, white banner, June 11, 2022 (Shutterstock/ Val Dunne Photography)

September 12-19, 2022

Black Perspectivesthe award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is hosting an online roundtable on the Black community of Buffalo, NY. This month marks four months since the devastating mass shooting, and the “Black Buffalo” forum will contextualize the histories of racism, racial violence, and residential segregation in the “City of Good Neighbors.” Bringing together local professors, scholars, researchers, and community members, this roundtable begins on Monday, September 12, 2022 and concludes on Monday, September 19, 2022. It will feature pieces from Henry Taylor Jr. (University of Buffalo), Victoria Wolcott (University of Buffalo), Steve Peraza (Buffalo State College), J Coley (University of Buffalo), and Anna Blatto (Partnership for the Public Good).  At the conclusion of the roundtable, the Black Buffalo Syllabus Collective will provide a glimpse of their reading list on topics related to Black Buffalo.

During the week of the online roundtable, Black Perspectives will publish new blog posts every day at 5:30AM EST. Please follow Black Perspectives (@BlkPerspectives) and AAIHS (@AAIHSon Twitter, like AAIHS on Facebook, or subscribe to our blog for updates. By subscribing to Black Perspectives, each new post will automatically be delivered to your inbox during the week of the roundtable.

About the Organizer

Tiana U. Wilson was born and raised on the East Side of Buffalo, NY. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in History with a portfolio in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include Black Women’s Internationalism, Black Women’s Intellectual History, Women of Color Organizing, and Third World Feminism. At UT, she led her department’s Anti-Racism Action Committee (2020-2021), served as the 2019-2020 Graduate Research Assistant for the Institute for Historical Studies, and was a research fellow for the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy between the years of 2017-2019. In the broader intellectual community, Tiana is the graduate student representative for the Association of Black Women Historians. Her dissertation has been supported by the Center for Engaged Scholarship, Sallie Bingham Center, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, Smith College Libraries, and the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. Follow her on Twitter @PhenomenalTiana.

About the Participants

Henry Louis Taylor, Jr. is a Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Buffalo, SUNY. He is the founding director of the Center for Urban Studies, which seeks solutions to problems facing metropolitan regions and central cities (including shrinking cities). Dr. Taylor is a member of the Steering Committee of the Anchor Institutions Task Force, a national organization that develops and disseminates knowledge to help create and advance democratic, mutually beneficial anchor institution-community partnerships.  Also, he is a member of the Board of Overseers of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government of the State University of New York.   He is on the Board of the Editors of Universities and Community Schools, published by Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania, and is the planning coordination for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority’s Perry Choice Neighborhood Initiative and the founder of the Perry Choice Neighborhood History Project.

J Coley (they/them) is a Sociology Ph.D. Candidate and Graduate Instructor at the University at Buffalo. They are an urban sociologist and public scholar who specializes in the areas of race and racism, social inequality, gentrification, and housing. J is a co-creator of the #BuffaloSyllabus and has previously published in Sociological Inquiry. Follow them on Twitter @jcoley716.


Steve Peraza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Social Studies Education at SUNY-Buffalo State College. He earned his Ph.D. in U.S. history from SUNY-Buffalo, specializing in African slavery in global perspective. His research examines slaves’ conceptions of law and legal procedure in eighteenth-century Louisiana freedom suits. Other research interests include race and racism in America, the Harlem Renaissance, and the long civil rights movement. He teaches courses on U.S. history, African American history, the African Diaspora, slavery in the Atlantic World, and Hip Hop.

Victoria W. Wolcott is a Professor of History at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. She has published three books: Remaking Respectability: African American Women in Interwar Detroit (2001), Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters: The Struggle Over Segregated Recreation in America (2012) and Living in the Future: The Utopian Strain in the Long Civil Rights Movement (2022). In addition, she has published articles in The Journal of American History, The Radical History Review, and the Journal of Women’s History among others. She is currently working on two book projects: an edited collection Utopian Imaginings: Saving the Future in the Present for SUNY Press’s “Humanities to the Rescue” series and The Embodied Resistance of Eroseanna Robinson: Athleticism and Activism in the Cold War Era, a microhistory of a Black Pacifist activist during the cold war. Follow her on Twitter @VWidgeon.

Anna Blatto is a Research Associate at Partnership for the Public Good, a Buffalo-based nonprofit with over 325 community partners working to build a more equitable region. A life-long resident of the City of Buffalo, Anna graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2018 with degrees in Sociology and Urban and Public Policy. Her report A City Divided: A Brief History of Segregation in Buffalo provides an overview of this history and its implications. Her current research focuses on the geography of water shutoffs as well as water affordability and equity.

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