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The Buffalo Syllabus - A Love Letter to Black Buffalo: J Coley, Tiana U. Wilson, and Dr. Robert Mays of the Black Buffalo Syllabus Collective on The Public Good

Presenter(s): Anna Blatto
Date: November 22, 2022, 10:30-11 am

Join us on The Public Good. This week we’re joined with several of the creators of #BuffaloSyllabus: J Coley, Tiana U. Wilson, and Dr. Robert Mays. 

Following the May 14 white supremacist terrorist attack at Tops on Jefferson, J Coley, a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University at Buffalo, was among those using their social media platforms to gather and aciculate information on local mutual aids. One of Coley’s followers tweeted about the potential of a #BuffaloSyllabus for the general public to learn more about the history, and more importantly, Buffalo’s Black community. 

Coley put out a call to action for Black scholars and local advocates interested in creating a #BuffaloSyllabus. Three scholars born and raised in Buffalo- Tiana U. Wilson, William Jamal Richardson, and Dr. Robert Mays - answered that call. The Black Buffalo Syllabus Collective was formed on May 18, 2022. 

Over several months, the Collective met to discuss and collaborate, pulling together articles, books, op-eds, policy reports, poems, and media on different themes to contextualize the social, economic, and political climate of Buffalo today. They discuss their goal to create a centralized, easy-to-access, free resource for Buffalo’s Black community, local educators, politicians, communities of color allies, organizers, and anyone interested in learning more about “Rust Belt Resilience.” The #BuffaloSyllabus breaks selections into multiple categories and makes a point to highlight intersectionality. The Collective considers the #BuffaloSyllabus to be a living document and welcomes relevant submissions. 

Visit the #BuffaloSyllabus website and dive into hundreds of free resources compiled by the Collective and their contributors. 

J Coley is a Sociology PhD candidate and Graduate Instructor at the University at Buffalo. Their specializations include race and racism, social inequality, gentrification, and housing. 

Tiana U. Wilson is a History PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin, with a portfolio in Women's and Gender Studies. Her specializations include Black Women's Internationalism, Black Women's Intellectual History, Women of Color Organizing, and Third World Feminism. She is a Managing Editor of the African American Intellectual History Society award-winning blog Black Perspectives

Dr. Robert Mays holds a PhD in Social Work from Morgan State University and is a licensed independent clinical social worker. His specializations include Black Adolescents and Young Adults, cultural studies, mental health service usage, and health behavior. 

William Jamal Richardson is a Sociology PhD candidate at Northwestern University. His specializations include urban sociology, African American Studies, Settler Colonial Studies, and Museum Studies, with research focusing on understanding the relationship between settler colonialism and urban development in the United States.