Buffalo may name a street after Black Lives Matter

Jun 12, 2020

Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen proposed a resolution this week to rename a street or section of the city in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The proposal was inspired by Mekhi Edwards, 17, an upcoming senior at Frederick Law Olmsted high school who has been named Honorary Youth Chairperson for the endeavor.

Edwards said, in a letter to the Common Council, many people his age “don’t have the extra funds to donate” and that signing petitions can only go so far. He wants to bring local youths together to paint “Black Lives Matter” on a yet-to-be-determined Buffalo street.

This is the letter Mekhi Edwards sent to the Common Council.
Credit Courtesy of City of Buffalo

“This would be a great opportunity to bring the community together, [spread] awareness, and [have] everyone be included,” said Edwards. “It will give encouragement to protestors to keep fighting for the rights of African Americans, but also fuel young minds.”

Pridgen has similar hopes for the proposal, which he said would shine a light on the changes the movement is inspiring in Buffalo.

“It is about positive change,” said Pridgen. “It is about the attention on something that has been covertly talked about for years. So I think it just commemorates that Buffalo came to the table for change.”

While Edwards says painting “Black Lives Matter” on a street won’t directly change anything, it would be a positive message to send to the community.

“If we come together and everyone is agreeing to rename the street or paint it on the street 'Black Lives Matter,' if they can agree to do that then they also can agree to change policies [and] could start funding Buffalo schools to actually listen to us,” Edwards said.

The resolution requests the Brown administration work with the council to determine which street or section in the city receives the designation. The council is expected to vote on the resolution on June 23.