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Buffalo's Road to Recovery

Black Buffalonians fought for years to bring a supermarket to their community, only for it to become the site of a racist mass shooting. As the store reopens, Into America travels to Buffalo to check in with the people who were there.

About this episode:

Tops Friendly Market has now re-opened in East Buffalo, two months after a white supremacist walked into the supermarket with guns blazing. Motivated by previous racist attacks and the false and insidious “great replacement theory,” the shooter live-streamed his killing spree, during which he took the lives of ten members of Buffalo’s Black community. The victims included parents, the elderly, a beloved community activist, and the security guard who died shooting back.

Tops closed down for months, dealing another blow to the hard-hit community. For years, Tops was the only supermarket in an area that’s otherwise a food desert. It's opening in 2003 marked the culmination of a years-long push from community members, after decades of disinvestment.

As the community continues to heal and forge a path forward, Into America travels to Buffalo to speak with Buffalo natives Fragrance Harris Stanfield, who was working at Tops the day of the shooting, and Pastor Tim Newkirk, a community activist who was involved in the original push to bring a full-service grocery store to his community.

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Find the transcript here.

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