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Buffalo’s Black community is reeling after being targeted by a mass shooting

A gunman targeted the only Black-run grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y., killing ten people.
A gunman targeted the only Black-run grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y., killing ten people.

On Saturday, a shooter targeted shoppers at the only Black-run grocery store in Buffalo, New York. Ten people were killed and three were injured. Eleven of the victims were African American.

The racist attack left residents of Buffalo and America reeling but has especially shaken the city’s Black population.

“We want deep history to be taught, for the truth be told, and all of this racism to stop,” jazz promoter Denise McMichael-Houston told The Guardian.

Reporter Edward Helmore also spoke to her cousin, educator Ellen Lucas, who said, “The problem is that they will not teach accurate history in schools. I have lived in this city 72 years and everything here is racist. We have this one supermarket.”

More from Helmore:

Some saw the roots of the violence against the Black community in a profound mis-telling of history in America and a deep-rooted prejudice against it that was still echoing on through everyday existence. After all, one analysis from the University of Michigan found the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro region was America’s sixth most segregated. Meanwhile, a 2021 University at Buffalo report found measures of health, housing, income and education had improved little for Black residents in the city and in some cases had declined over the past three decades.

As we continue the conversation about the weekend’s tragedy, we look at the history of race in Buffalo and America.

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Haili Blassingame