BUFFALO N.Y. (WKBW) — Each year, MLK day offers communities across the country a day to celebrate, reflect and act. This year, it's different, but the message remains the same.
"We feel it’s an obligation that we always use opportunities as a means of recognizing our heritage, our history, both nationally international and locally," said Terry Alford, Executive Director of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor.
The Corridor is one of Buffalo’s cultural staples, which always hosts MLK day celebrations. This year, the corridor’s celebrations are different for many reasons.
Obviously, the pandemic puts a limit on how people can come together, so there will be fewer people.
"At 10am it’ll be started with a special tour with George Scott of the Colored Musicians Club and at 11am we’ll begin a day of tours at the Michigan St. Baptist Church and Edward Nash house," said Audrey Clark, Project Manager.
Anyone interested in these must register in advance.
Alford says reflection is different this year as well, after this summer's Black Lives Matter protests swept the nation and WNY.
"Since the summer with BLM and the reawakening of social justice, corridors like ours serve as an example of those things for folks to go back to and glean from who we are," said Alford.
"We lost two iconic figures in our community within the past few weeks...I think the primary message that MLK, George K. Arthur and William Henderson is that they lived a life of serving others," said Alford.
Alford says that’s how you should use this day. Remembering our history and looking for ways to help others in our community.
"We have a long way to go as current events show. Use that day to reflect, determining what those blessings are, use that as an opportunity to say, I’m going to serve someone else," said Alford.
Next, for Black History Month, the Corridor is introducing a new series of events, follow along with them on their website.