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Trailblazing signs honoring 'community champion' Kat Massey, one of the Jefferson 10

Kat Massey trailblazer sign.jpg
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jul 29, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Ten weeks after the shooting at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue, a stretch of road honors one of the "Jefferson Ten".

Katherine "Kat" Massey was one of the ten people who died on May 14.

Kat's sister, Barbara Mapps said, "I don't even have the words. I just thank the City of Buffalo. We are so grateful."

A trailblazer whose name will forever be etched on Jefferson Avenue, and in Buffalo's Fruitbelt neighborhood.

"Today is a great day in our city. We stand in an area that would not look like it looks right now if it had not been for Kat Massey," Buffalo Council president, Darius Pridgen said.

Massey is honored for her tireless work in the community.

Her family was joined by elected officials, Buffalo leaders and community members, who said she pushed for better education and quality of life in her neighborhood, and against gun violence.

"Her life was taken but her memory lives on, and we will remember her every time we drive past here, every time we walk into Tops and see those symbols that she introduced many of us to," Pridgen added.

Three street signs were unveiled: one on Service Road and Jefferson Avenue, one on Virginia Street and Cherry Street and another on Mortimor Street and Cherry Street. Each route is called "Katherine 'Kat' Masssey Way".

Former Erie County Legislator, Betty Jean said, "Many people here either live on Cherry Street, live in the community or know Kat for many of the work that she has done."

Massey was also instrumental in getting New York State to incorporate the African Adinkra Symbols that are portrayed on the concrete wall along the highway next to the Inspiration Garden.

In the late 1980s, Massey also created the "Cherry Street Block Club", to add weight to her advocacy letters.

"Katherine Massey was a community champion. I say that having known her and wishing very, very much that she were here with us, present, also in the body but I know that she is with the Lord," We Are Women Warriors organization member, Sherry Sherrill said.

She is mourned and missed, but will never be forgotten.

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