The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) acknowledges the physical, emotional, and psychological impact that the mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, NY, and the daily experience of racism have on African Americans and others in our communities.
We are thinking of our colleagues at the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission located in the same community as the shooting. We have had the pleasure to work with them planning for an evening event street party for the 2022 AASLH Annual Conference. We offer our support to the Historic Colored Musicians Club and Jazz Museum, Michigan Street Baptist Church, The Nash House, and WFUO Radio Station and Black History Collective and their staff and volunteers.
AASLH condemns white supremacy, antisemitism, and the racist “replacement theory” of immigrants replacing white people, all of which have a long history in our country and have reportedly been cited by the alleged perpetrator as motivation for this horrendous act.
AASLH calls on its members to redouble their efforts to preserve and interpret history that challenges ignorance and bigotry, that uses evidence to promote critical thinking, and that advances society toward justice. History organizations have a duty to address contemporary issues and can offer examples of historical resilience and creativity of people rising to meet civic and communal challenges in the past.
AASLH also calls on all history organizations, from museums to historic sites to historical societies, to embrace their roles as leading members of their local communities to offer historical perspective as well as civic spaces, where people come together for conversations that can help overcome local and national division.