Black History Month

Jeddy Johnson / WAER News

Syracuse-area minority entrepreneurs often face additional barriers in the business world that can discourage them right at the start.  In our final installation celebrating Black History Month, we hear from one motivated business owner who is actually enjoying some success thanks to a program that breaks down barriers.

A Liverpool man decided it was time to launch his own business when he was laid off from his high-paying job at New Process Gear after 14 years.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Most Central New Yorkers know about the Jerry Rescue, where a group of Syracuse abolitionists freed  fugitive slave William "Jerry" Henry from jail and snuck him to Canada.  But chances are most don’t know the story behind Enoch Reed, one of the men who helped rescue Jerry in 1851.

Onondaga Historical Association Curator of History Dennis Connors says to understand the significance of the Jerry Rescue is to understand that those involved were committing a serious act of civil disobedience.

Scott Willis / WAER News

A Syracuse University scholar in the area of civil unrest among African Americans sees some similarities…and differences in protests from the civil rights era to the present.  In this next installment celebrating black history month, WAER News looks at the issues that lead to unrest, and if they’re being addressed.

Scott Willis / WAER News

A new exhibit at the ArtRage gallery in Syracuse features an Auburn man’s unique collection of ordinary household artifacts that forces people to confront racist stereotypes and distortions of African Americans.  William Berry, Jr. started collecting the racist memorabilia more than 40 years ago.  With help from traveling friends, his collection includes artifacts from all over the world.   Berry says the theme is the same...African Americans were seen and portrayed in a negative light.  

Lauren Winfrey/WAER News

  On a typical Syracuse Saturday Sydney Hutchinson-Mengel and her two-year-old son browse the children’s section of the local Barnes and Noble. Often just trying to keep his young mind stimulated, Hutchinson-Mengel makes it a point to visit the bookstore weekly. This Saturday, the voice of a narrator reading aloud was unexpected, but intriguing.

Ben Miller, WAER News
Valerie Crowder, WAER News

Around 300 students packed the cafeteria at Syracuse’s Ed Smith K-8 School on Friday to hear two African-American public leaders share their paths to success.