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Remembering community leader Agnes Bain

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 18:29:08-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A leader in the Buffalo community and inspiration to many passed away earlier this week. Agnes Bain, 78, was the Executive Director at the African American Cultural Center in Buffalo. People are remembering her for the leader she was.

"She was Buffalo, people relied on her for her knowledge base," said Paulette Harris, Artistic Director of the Paul Robeson Theatre.

Known lovingly as "Mama Bain", she worked at the cultural center on Masten Ave for almost 50 years. She's only the second person in the center's history to hold the executive director position

Though she had no children of her own, she is a matriarch in the Buffalo Community. "She was more than an icon, she was the Queen Mother," said Eva M. Doyle who worked with her for years.

She's known for her contributions to the community, including her roles in:

  • the Paul Robeson Theatre
  • the African American Cultural Center Dancers
  • the Pine Grill Reunion
  • Teaching African American tradition and culture

"She believed in culture, she believed in tradition and making sure our young people understood and learned their history," said Doyle.

Her mentees say she opened doors for generations of people in the Eastside, Buffalo and all of Western New York.