Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission
501 Michigan Ave, Buffalo, NY 14203 - United States
Currently the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor is made up of a group of four cultural anchors that have long resided in the corridor. The collaborative efforts of these cultural institutions make what we do possible.
● The Historic Colored Musicians Club & Jazz Museum - The Colored Musicians Union, Local 533, was formed in 1917. A year later, upstairs from the office, the Colored Musicians Club became an after-hours gathering place for local touring musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Art Blakely, and many, many more. The club received designation as a historical landmark in 1979. Prior to the pandemic, it was still offering regular Sunday night jam sessions and was operating an interactive museum dedicated to jazz history. The club is about to embark on an expansion of its building to allow for more visitors and handicap accessibility.
● The Michigan Street Baptist Church – Owned by the not-for-profit organization, the Buffalo Niagara Freedom Coalition, the Church has been a central part of the history and culture of Buffalo for more than 150 years. The 1845 building became a legendary Underground Railroad station, providing escaped slaves sanctuary before crossing to freedom in Canada. National leaders, including Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. have delivered powerful messages from this sanctuary. The church is about to undergo historic restoration.
● The Nash House – Once the home of Rev. Edward Nash, pastor of the Michigan Street Baptist Church, The Nash House is currently owned by the not-for-profit organization The Michigan Street Preservation Corporation. The historic house has been operating as a museum since 2007. Many of Rev. Nash’s sermons and letters that are a crucial part of Buffalo’s African American community history were written here and are on display for viewing. The house is currently getting cosmetic updates.
● WUFO Radio Station & Black History Collective – Established in 1961, WUFO is the only African American owned radio station in Western New York. In 2013, WUFO was purchased by Sheila L. Brown of Vision Multi Media Group (VMMG) and True Bethel Community Development Corporation, making it WNY’s first black, female-owned station. Brown is a well-respected icon in the community and hopes to open a not-for-profit Black History Collective, the first of its kind in the country. You can visit and see how a radio station operates. WUFO has provided America with popular African American radio personalities, including Frankie Crocker, Gary Byrd, Jerry Bledsoe, Thelka McCall, Dwayne Dancer Donovan, Don Allen, Don Mullins, and many more!
We will be offering tours of the Michigan Street Baptist Church and the Nash House Museum from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM! There will also be an active archeological dig that visitors can participate in at the Michigan Street Baptist Church.
Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.