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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2015 Archives > January 2015 > Mayor Brown and BPS Students Watch Selma

Mayor Brown and BPS Students Watch Selma

Mayor Byron Brown, State Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Senator Tim Kennedy hosted and joined more than 200 Buffalo Public High School students today to watch the civil rights movie "Selma" as part of the White House initiative, "My Brother's Keeper." 

“It’s important for our young people to learn about the history of the civil rights struggle just a generation ago,” said Mayor Brown.  “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s non-violent movement changed how this country handled race relations 50 years ago and this movie reinforces that each person can make a difference in bringing people together to get things done.”

“The crowd here today serves as a metaphor; African Americans are in search of their history more than any other ethnicity,” said Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes. “The more people of color know about our history, we increase our ability to succeed in life. The movie ‘Selma’ captures a gripping period in American history which is also African American history; and this movie helps bridge the gap amongst generations. The Amistad Commission is one way we can continue to expand the access to African American history. Young men and women are able to see the sacrifices made in the past, and why it is important to live a positive life. I thank my colleagues in government for coming together in honor of Black History Month.”

"Giving young people the opportunity to witness a critically acclaimed account of such a monumental time in our nation's history is essential," said Senator Tim Kennedy. "Not only are we empowering these students and inspiring them to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s fight, but we're hoping his message and his vision for equality lives on in every one of them."

The movie screening was held at the Regal Elmwood Center 16 and students came from a wide variety of schools citywide.  The on-going national effort to get youth across the country to participate in the screening of ‘Selma’ is part of President Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Challenge, an initiative designed to, in President Obama’s words,  “bolster and reinforce young men of color”.

Mayor Brown, along with over 100 mayors from across the country, accepted President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge” last fall and recently hosted a roundtable on the issue which continued his public investment and data-driven approach to tracking outcomes in order to provide Buffalo’s young people with the opportunities they deserve to reach their potential.