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The Buffalo African American Museum (BAAM) is supported by an all-volunteer board and dedicated volunteers


The Buffalo African American Museum (BAAM) Committee was an offshoot of the Martin Luther King Jr.  Memorial Fund. The original meeting of the committee was called together in 2009, with a public invitation being extended thru the media, to see who would be interested in being  a part of a group of people willing to support an organization that would do some research. The research would tell the historic role that African Americans played in the growth and development of Buffalo and Western New York.


Founding Members are Clifford Bell (Chairman) Karima Amin, Lillia Byrd, Carrone Trump, Doretha Edwards, Maryln Foote Kragbe, Modell Gault Jr., Dorothy M. Hackney, Betty J. Grant, L. Nathan Hare, Peggy Heath, Julia Heath, Debra Johnson, Sandra Allen Price, George Purnell and Twiggs Seymore Jr.

BAAM is currently working towards raising funds and support for a brick and mortar location for a museum. In the meantime, please refer to our traveling exhibits to learn more and get involved.

The Michigan Avenue YMCA exhibit became BAAM's first exhibit built for public display. A Constitution and set of bylaws were prepared that met the criteria for a NYS Museum. In 2012, BAAM was chartered as a 501(c)3,  through the office of Cultural Education, NYS Education Department.


Clifford Bell.jpg

Pioneer, Entrepreneur and Civil Rights Advocate

Clifford Bell, is the Chairman of the Buffalo African American Museum Committee (BAAM), and former Chairman of the Dr. Martin Luther King Birthday Celebration Committee. He was one of the founders of the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Trust Fund, creators of the memorial bust in Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Buffalo, New York, and chairman of the Celebration Committee. Known as "Brother Bell", he is a community activist in Buffalo, New York, a former City of Buffalo Council member, and has received over 100 awards and recognitions during his more than 70 years of community service.

After 55 years in the dry cleaning business, Brother Bell joined the Small Business Development Center at Buffalo State College as a Business Counselor. In 1998, as the Director of Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation, he led a delegation of 55 people to Lille, France, and personally represented five Buffalo businesses in international trade.


Brother Bell has the Honorary Title of  Paramount Chief of the African World and has performed at Libation Ceremonies in English, French and Spanish in several countries such as Haiti, Dominican Republic, France and USA.

He was born and raised in Buffalo and has dedicated his entire life to the betterment of Buffalo by working tirelessly with City, State, business and countless community groups.

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