BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s been almost two months since 10 people were killed and three others were injured at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue. The community is still healing from that racist attack.
“I think it’s beautiful — for a community that needed to come out and come together,” said Pastor Daniel Benning from the Upper Room Church of God and Christ. “That’s what this is about. It’s not about anything else except energizing our community, or re-energizing our community since the shooting.”
“It did make me nervous to even go into stores afterwards. I was uncomfortable, I felt a little on edge every time I went somewhere,” said Gospel singer DaMarka Wheeler. “I’m doing much better now. I just want everyone to know what it takes time to heal.”
To help in that process, the Upper Room Church and Canisius College put together the Buffalo Still Standing Relief Concert on the corner of Jefferson Ave and Florida Street.
“We are just here to uplift these families, to uplift the community to let them know that god is still able to strengthen you, keep you, in spite of it all,” Wheeler said.
Organizers and local lawmakers said the free concert was meant to restore the city and help people feel comfortable again.
“We wanted to lift the spirits of the people in this community. I think they deserve it,” said Cynthia Benning, the director of the Upper Room food pantry. “We’ve been through a lot and it didn’t just start two and a half months ago and so for me, I just want to see people happy and smiling and not be so fearful of coming out of their homes or getting ready to go to the store.”
“We will not stop because someone decided to do something crazy,” Daniel said. “We’re gonna go on. We’re gonna live, but we won’t live in fear.”