““Freedom, Justice and Equality for All, Love of God and Our Fellow Man; Doing All the Good We Can for Our Community," Andrew J. Smitherman (1883-1961). The Purpose of the Buffalo Empire Star is to keep the African-American community informed about past, current and future events to continue onward in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality in the spirt of the underground railroad pioneers.


What Antonin Scalia’s Death Means to the People I Love



I’m not sad Antonin Scalia is dead.

Wow! It feels so good to say that aloud!

Come on. Admit it. You feel exactly the same way.

I know. I know. Everywhere you turn, people are going out of their way to talk about the ramifications of the 79-year-old Supreme Court Justice’s death without passing judgement on him.

“Let’s keep it classy,” they say.

Oh. Stop it.

In his 30 years on the bench, Scalia hurt an awful lot of people. And I mean real, live people – not ideological constructs, not hypotheticals – but moms, dads, husbands, wives, daughters, and sons.

The aggregate amount of misery in the world was drastically increased by his being in it. And now that he’s gone, much of that misery may be relieved.

So spare me any shock at my thesis. Spare me the false praise of a truly reprehensible human being.

He was…

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Joel Giambra is behind the conspiracy to smear housing commissioner Joe Mascia

The Buffalo Chronicle

Earlier this year — while Joe Mascia was considering a run for Common Council — the 27 year incumbent reached out to Joel Giambra, the former County Executive, to orchestrate a coordinated smear against the outspoken 70 year old housing commissioner. Giambra is a close friend of Paul Christopher, the man who taped Mascia in a private conversation and prodded him to use a slur against African Americans.

Giambra is a childhood friend of Mike Seamen, the Chairman of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. Mascia had been calling for Seamen’s resignation because of the housing authority’s longstanding incompetence, financial improprieties, and improper contracting practices. The situation had become so bad that the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a “Substandard Management” rating and threatened federal receivership of the 31-property agency.

Mascia has been the city’s most outspoken critic against the continued privatization of the housing authority, policies…

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Breaking: Ex-Superintendent of Hillsborough County, Florida, Will Be Named New York State Commissioner

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Buffalo News reports that MaryEllen Elia will be selected by the New York Board of Regents as the next state commissioner of education, replacing the controversial John King. The news was repeated by a Tampa television station.

The vote will occur sometime today, according to reports. When the news leaked, parents began bombarding the Regents with emails and tweets. As one said, “It is not over until the fat lady sings.” So, listen.

Elia was fired by the Hillsborough Board of Education last February in a 4-3 vote. The business community was upset. But critics complained about micromanagement, a top-down style, lack of transparency, and complaints from parents of students with special needs. One board member who voted to dismiss her “accused Elia of creating a workplace culture of fear and bullying, and failing to pay enough attention to minorities, including Hispanics.” Others, including parents, said that her…

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This Was Michael Brown’s High School

Diane Ravitch's blog

Michael Brown, the youth who was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, graduated from Normandy High School. You may recall reading here that the Normandy School District, which was 98% African-American, was merged by the state with the nearby Wellston School District, which was 100% African-American.

Michael’s graduation picture was taken in March 2014. Why so far ahead of the graduation date? The high school had only two graduation gowns, and they had to be shared by the entire class. Mark Sumner tells the story of Michael Brown’s high school on The Daily Kos, and it is heartbreaking.

“The grinding poverty in Mike’s world only allowed Normandy High School to acquire two graduation gowns to be shared by the entire class. The students passed a gown from one to the other. Each put the gown on, in turn, and sat before the camera to have their graduation photographs taken. Until…

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Jessie Mae Anderson, remembering a pioneer


Born Jessie Mae Hawthorne to Ethel Richard (Mother), and Jessie Hawthorne (Father) in Plain Dealing, Louisiana on May 3, 1913.

Jessie Mae completed High School in the South. Growing up in a family active in the church, she accepted the Lord into her life at an early age. Jessie Mae married Johnnie Glover Anderson (deceased) on June 23, 1941 in El Dorado, county of Union, state of Arkansas.

Into the 1940’s Jessie Mae and Johnnie moved to Buffalo, New York with their daughter Mary Grace (Coleman) Hunter (deceased), while later giving birth to a set of twin boys; James (Jimmy) and John (Jackie – deceased),

She was an outstanding mother and talented wife. Jessie Mae was early home-based business owner whose baking ability was renown equally as her crocheting & knitting, alnd sought by many. Jessie Mae over the years had various jobs; worked for AM&A’s as a seamstress, Chevrolet and Trico of Buffalo, as well as other jobs in an era that didn’t provide living wage employment especially for African Americans.

Jessie Mae was actively engaged in the welfare and betterment of her family through her constant interaction with schools as a PTA leader at P.S. 31, Tenant Organizer and extending her efforts by developing after-school programs in the Willert Park Courts (Alfred D. Price) Projects. She was an effective community leader & community mother well respected among her peers, neighbors and political leaders in Buffalo especially in the Ellicott District. She engaged in work and civic activities from the 50’s throughout the late 90’s until her retirement at age 85.

Jessie Mae and Johnnie both joined New Hope Baptist Church, while it was located at 63 Union Street under the pastorate of Rev. Nathaniel A. Mason, serving on the Nurses Guild, Sunday School assistant, Scouts Den Mother, and more. Her support and participation remained ongoing as the church moved to 543 Richmond Ave, Buffalo NY through the pastoral leadership of Rev. Joseph Moore, Rev. Jefferson, Rev. Paul F. Thompson into the present leadership of Rev. Herschel Chapman, Jr as health challenges began to overtake her.

Jessie Mae Anderson was preceded in death by her father-Jessie Hawthorne, mother-Ethel (Richard) Ratliff, grandmother-Lizzie Richard, brother-Allen Hawthorne, daughter-Mary Grace (Coleman) Hunter, son-John Anderson, stepsister-Ethel Mae Ratliff, stepdaughter-Minnie Ledford, granddaughter-Marcia Denise (Roger-deceased) Davis, grandson-Micheal (Shirley) Hunter. She leaves to cherish and continue onwards; son-James Anderson, granddaughters, Dawn Marie (Kenneth) Pittman, Susan Ann (Kevin)Cole, Dora Austin, Chantelle Austin, Safiya Renee Anderson (Tony) MacAlister, Paulette Witherspoon, grandson-Mark Edward (Maureen) Hunter, and a host great, great-great, great-great-great grandchildren, other family members and friends.

Al Jazeera buys Current TV from Al Gore expands outreach to American Market

Although it got bad press when it recently put down over $300 million to buy the progressive Current TV from former VP Al Gore, the deal helped Al Jazeera expand its viewers to 40 million in the American market.
It’s an award-winning  broadcast news known for coverage of global events from Arabe Spring to Al Qaeda and  controversial messages from Osama Bin Laden a decade ago.
Al Jazeera has a respectable worldwide audience based in Qatar funded through its emir.
There was some bad media attention when Time Warner dropped Current TV after Al Jazeera sealed the deal, but it’s not final.
Al Gore founded CurrentTV in 2005.

Al Jazeera buys  CurrentTV  from Al Gore  captures  wider US TV audience

Remembering Tex Smith

By Ken Nixon

In great sorrow, I am sad to announce the passing of Tex Smith—a trooper to many of us and certainly for his community. A longtime friend and assistant to NY Deputy Speaker Arthur O. Eve. Tex fought for the integration of Labors Local 210 in Buffalo—provi
ding a pathway to good paying jobs for many. A father to all us and the BEST grandfather to all of our younger kids. May God be with our brother and dear friend.

In memory of Tex Smith

In great sorrow, I am sad to announce the passing of Tex Smith—a trooper to many of us and certainly for his community. A longtime friend and assistant to NY Deputy Speaker Arthur O. Eve. Tex fought for the… See More integration of Labors Local 210 in Buffalo—providing a pathway to good paying jobs for many. A father to all us and the BEST grandfather to all of our younger kids. May God be with our brother and dear friend.
By ken Nixon

Especially for Women in Buffalo, New York


I worked at the Buffalo Evening News in the early in 1980s, just 10 years after a group of women in 1970 sued Newsweek magazine for gender discrimination in the workplace.

I don’t know if any of those women  were black, Latina, Asian or Native American  Lynn Povich  wrote about  at Newsweek that catapulted the lawsuit  in 1970 in the Los Angeles Times today.

Lynn Povich,  Newsweek’s first female senior editor  and past managing editor of MSNBC.com,  author of “The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace,”  was one of the 46 women to bring the landmark lawsuit in 1970.

It was largely forgotten she wrote until she got a call from two women at Newsweek writing about women in the work place that discovered the lawsuit. In an insightful editorial for the Los Angeles Times, about the experience Povich wrote:

“The glass…

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Say what’s on your mind here: http://www.zoomvillage.com/newsStory.cfm/8325/State-buys-controversial-Busti-St-for-demolition
If you want to write for the Buffalo City Express News message me on FB. Need writers, bloggers, ad sales person….spread the wealth buy and sale an ad at the Buffalo City Express News focused on the City of Buffalo and Niagara Region. Have something to say on this topic, arts, housing, city-living, sports, etc. click advertise button. We do videos, blogs, links to a major social media so tremendous opportunity for great exposure.
State buys controversial Busti St. for demolition
http://www.zoomvillage.comGov. Andrew Cuomo passed through the City of Buffalo on Saturday so fast the local media was alerted only three hours ahead of his visit! He announced a preliminary agreement where the State of New york buys the Busti Ave…