By Francis White
I remember my late great uncle (who was a pastor in a Pentecostal denomination, his church was located in the Fruit Belt, and he owned property there) used to say "most of the Fruit Belt is almost spoken up for." He was talking about big institutions like the University at Buffalo who were reportedly making offers to home owners to buy their homes in that neighborhood. According to my late uncle, this was happening in the neighborhood as early as the mid 1990's.
If you remember a little while back, I put up some video of Veronica Nichols of the Fruit Belt neighborhood in Buffalo. She is one of the organizers there working to figure out what's going on with the neighborhood they call home.
The most vicious and successful predators are very patient. They'll plan, wait, watch, and then, they'll attack at the precise moment - the moment that you're completely vulnerable. Similarly, some neighborhood take overs are planned far in advance. Could this be the case with advent of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus? This is the brand new, nearby state, private, medical research campus that sits adjacent to the neighborhood. Many people for the past few years have been warning or have speculated that this campus had its eyes (or fangs) set on the Fruit Belt when it was time for it to expand (or eat). To many, these fears are becoming more true everyday.
Buffalo city Councilman Darius Pridgen is hosting a meeting on Fruit Belt gentrification (along with the topic of metro bus shelters) this coming Monday, May 4th. It's happening at Gethsemene Baptist Church, 55 Grape St in Buffalo. The meeting starts at 6pm.
Along with an Institute for Pan Handling and Crack Head Studies, the medical campus may need to develop an Institute for Gentrification. We'll see you on Monday.
Posted on Fri, May 1, 2015
by Shayla Rae Merritt