Buffalo celebrates Black History Month at City Hall

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown held the city’s annual Black History Month celebration at City Hall Wednesday, honoring achievers in the fields of arts and culture, health, law enforcement, and a young entrepreneur who started his own business at the age of 10.

Pastor Mark Blue received the Community Service Award to taking over the leadership of the NAACP’s Buffalo chapter, following the retirement of long time president Frank Mesiah.

Singer and songwriter Drea d’Nur was recognized for her works, including producing two short films about legendary singer Nina Simone. D’Nur received the Arts and Culture Award.

The Education Award went to Dr. Tonja Williams, Assistant Superintendent for the Division of Student Support Services in the Buffalo Public School District.

Pastor Edward Jackson, Jr., of Friendship Baptist Church received the Faith-Based Award, and the family of Buffalo State College basketball coach Imam Ansari, all 5 members, received the Family Award.

Buffalo Dentist Dr. Kevin Wood was recipient of the mayor’s Healthcare Award, and Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams, a retired Buffalo police officer, and retired Master Sergeant in U.S. Army Reserve received the Military/Law Enforcement Award.

The Youth Award went to Shelden Gibbs, 11, a sixth grader at Tapestry Charter School. Gibbs is the CEO of Classic Knot, which makes and sells bow ties. Classic Knot also markets other accessories such as neckties and pocket squares.

Gibbs launched his company, with his mother Rhonda Woods in 2016, at the age of 10. He sells most of his products on the Internet to buyers around the world.

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