Archaeologists dig on land next to Michigan’s St. Baptist Church


BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – Community Archeology Days, September 17-18, and the following week, September 24-25, were created to educate children about archeology, the African American Heritage Corridor and Black History in Buffalo.

“Black history is American history… we’re all in the same boat,” said Lillie Wiley-Upshaw, president of the Buffalo-Niagara Freedom Station Coalition, one of the organizers of the community event.

The installation and the excavations are entirely open to the public and free of charge. The space offers educational materials, as well as opportunities to use equipment and help with the excavation process. Additionally, tickets for church tours will be available for $ 15, via the Michigan St. Buffalo website here.

Teams from the University of Buffalo’s Archeology Department began their excavation by digging small holes through the grounds on the east side of the church, and will branch out into larger spaces as the days go by.

The goal of the project is to help materialize black history in the region – the African American Heritage Corridor, particularly St. Baptist Church in Michigan, was often the last stop for escaped slaves on the path of Canada in search of freedom. The organizers of the program hope to be able to uncover the story with this act.

So far, the project has only cracked the surface of the excavation – finding construction materials, food waste and ceramics. However, they anticipate more in the coming days.

The site will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 511 Michigan Ave.

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