Inspired by a letter from a high school student, Buffalo Common Council will look at renaming a street in honor of “Black Lives Matter”


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Inspired by a request from a 17-year-old Buffalo Public School District student, Buffalo Common Council president Darius Pridgen is proposing a street or section of Buffalo be renamed in honor of Black Lives Matter.

The resolution will be on the agenda for the Common Council session on June 23.

According to a press release from the Common Council, the effort to rename a street was influenced by a letter Frederick Law Olmsted student Mekhi Edwards sent to them, suggesting the city allow young people to come together and paint “Black Lives Matter” onto a street.

Edwards, an incoming high school senior who owns a photography business, said that he is donating a portion of what he makes this month from his photography to Black Lives Matter and the Minnesota Freedom Fund.

In his letter to the Common Council, Edwards said that he and his peers feel limited in what they can do to help the movement.

“People tend to muzzle our voice and our opinions, as well as our parents feeling wary about us going to protest because of the fear of us not making it home,” Edwards said. “Many people that I know don’t have the extra funds to donate and signing petitions can only go so far- that leaves us questioning, ‘what else’?”

Edwards’ proposal to paint “Black Lives Matter” onto a street would be a “great way to bring the community together, spreading awareness, and having everyone be included”.

“Although painting “Black Lives Matter” isn’t going to change anything in the literal sense of the current issues, it is going to build and solidify that black lives have and will always matter,” Edwards wrote.

Pridgen’s resolution names Edwards as the Honorary Youth Chairperson of the proposed project, and requests that city administration works with the council to choose a street or section to be designated.

The public will be able to watch the June 23 Common Council meeting here.

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