““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.


Residents oppose rental housing units in fruit belt community

The Buffalo News reported today, “St. John Community Development Corp., an arm of St. John Baptist Church on Goodell Street, wants to construct 17 buildings of two, three and four units that would be rented to low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
The proposal was rushed through a special meeting at the Buffalo Common Council amid the complaints of a few residents opposed to the project because its rental not owner occupied units. That 60% of black males hired to work on the project and a company paid $100,000, to manage it was not enough to assuage the fears of worried residents.
Rev. Michael Chapman has the support of Mayor Byron Brown and City Office of strategic Planning and HUD for the project.
yet, one mile from this proposed 2, 3 and 4 room  rental units sits the Emerson Row Houses, another project of 16 rental units on Emerson Street off Michigan Avenue that has ruined this Cold Spring neighborhood.
The Queen Ann row houses originally 3 bedroom single-family units were rehab as one bedroom rentals up stairs and downstairs through a Restoration 78 project, has gradually dilapidated contributing to neighborhood decay.
This wouldn’t have happened if the units had been kept 3 bedrooms as originally constructed in the early 1900s.
Rev. Chapman should develop more units to provide fruit belt residents the opportunity to become home owners not renters. In this way the home owners would have more of a stake in their community and create a future generation to  become involved in what happens in the Medical Corridor area long after Rev. Chapman is gone.


Brown appoints East Amherst resident to replace Karla Thomas

Patricia Folts, new City of Buffalo Human Resources Director to be...?

The Buffalo News reported on Thursday that  Mayor Byron W. Brown appointed Patricia P. Folts,  a resident from East Amherst, NY  to replace Karla Thomas. Folts,a white female, registered Republican appears to have a  a spotty work history,  two years stints in various  human resources jobs since she graduated from the University at Buffalo with a BA Psychology  in 1993 that she started in 1987.

Folts has a graduate degree in Human Resources she worked on from 2000 to 2005. The Buffalo Common Council has to approve Folts to the $91,374 a-year post.

On Monday,  August 29th Thomas gave a scathing interview to the Buffalo News about things happening in the Brown administration particularly the meddling with civil service positions. She said,

“Administration officials also frequently tried to nudge ineligible employees into civil service jobs, Thomas contended, claiming that her frequent objections played a key role in her deteriorating relationship with the mayor’s office. Thomas claims she rebuffed such ploys numerous times, noting that she had a state-sanctioned duty to follow the rules”

Folts described herself as a human resources generalist in her Linkedin profile. Interestingly, the last job Folts held was at LPCiminelli where former Deputy Mayor Donna Brown worked as well. She left Ciminelli nine months ago so what has she been doing since?

Had Brown aggressively done a national search perhaps there would have been more veteran human resources candidates applying for Commissioner of Human Resources especially if the competency of Karla Thomas was a  reason the Mayor fired her from  the position in a lengthy publicized hearing  last year in November that troubled many  in the African-American community.

Karla Thomas, former Commissioner of Human Resources, City of Buffalo

Patricia Folts, Mayor Brown's new appointee, Human Resources Commissioner

Dr. Marable biography spurs interest in opening case of Malcolm X

“Some experts say the Justice Department’s participation is crucial because the F.B.I. and the New York Police Department had Malcolm X under surveillance at the time of his death, raising questions about whether law enforcement officials had knowledge beforehand of the assassination plot.”

Birthday wishes Ntare Ali Gault

Ntare Ali gault


Forty-four years ago today my mother gave birth to a 9 lb 4 oz boy, my father chose to name me Ntare Ali. For the first six months of this year I have faced challenges like never before. I don’t take this birthday for granted. Praise Jesus!

Happy Birthday  Ntare Ali Gault

Lovely Mother Hazel Irene Patrick Gault (1959)

Birthday wishes to Bro. Burgin

Bro Charles Burgin

Brother Charles Burgin has been at the helm locally, garnering interest in his youth mentoring project that he hopes to see realized in the Buffalo Public Schools or a community organization. His many interests include District Parent Coordinating Council, the East Side Redevelopment Task Force, and the Mentor on-line program to name a few. Bro. Charles Burgin is an excellent public speaker, dedicating his life to better the life chances of Black male youths through his advocacy of a mentoring partnership program. Bro Burgin expertise not only comes from his advocacy of mentoring program to help youth living in communities where violence is pervasive but tragically in his family, the personal experience of losing a love one his brother inspires him to communicate a message of peace through mentoring for troubled youths. Bro Burgin is a columnist at the Buffalo Challenger newspaper.  If you would like to help Bro. Burgin with his youth mentoring project  contact him at his e-mail address:bromaninc@gmail.com

Mary J. Blige gets her GED

Mary J. Blige

Superstar rap singer Mary J. Blige, a high school drop-out earned a GED diploma recently and plans to complete her college education.

Birthday wishes Vincent Morgan!

Vincent Morgan

Birthday wishes to Mr. Vincent Morgan today former Congressional candidate 15th District, celebrating 42 years of succeeding where many others failed and setting a good example for our youth. He is married to the lovely Shola Lynch. They have two beautiful children.