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Black community leaders emphasize the impact felt in Toledo from the tragedy in Buffalo, importance of not forgetting

"They have to worry about what's going on in their community, then they have to worry about who will strike outside of their community."

TOLEDO, Ohio — Monday night marks almost ten days since a racially-motivated shooting claimed 10 lives in Buffalo, New York

Families and friends are grieving, but the impact doesn't stop there.

Black leaders say it's an incident that can't be forgotten as it's affected the Black community here in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

The tragedy has broken a lot of hearts, but it's also caused anger and even confusion.

Albert Earl, the board president of the Frederick Douglass Community Association, says they just want to know when it is going to stop.

"We are living in a time where people are living in fear, whether they say it or not," said Earl. 

Trauma has set in for the Black community, as they reflect on last Saturday's racist attack. 

"It was heartbreak for me. Devastation of if you're gonna go to the grocery store, something that you do on a daily basis, something that's normal, and acts of hatred take place," said Reggie Williams, who is the executive director of the Frederick Douglass Community Association

Williams and Earl run the Frederick Douglass Community Association. 

It's a safe space for anyone, and both are wondering how this level of hatred is still happening in 2022. 

"They have to worry about what's going on in their community. Then they have to worry about who will strike outside of their community. It's like there's no peace," said Earl. 

Earl provides mental health services for children and says kids are on edge. 

Williams sees the Black community left beyond scarred.

"The fact that when we look at our wounds, such as when we look at pictures of those who were lynched, and they have their scars. That's a deep wound that when you touch it, it still hurts. When you see it, it still hurts," said Williams.

Credit: Roxanne Elias/WTOL 11

Time will pass and the healing will continue.

But these leaders in the Black community say it's crucial not to forget that 10 people lost their lives in a senseless act. 

They're calling on the government to step in.

"Something needs to be done. I just think that our government needs to take a really hard stance on making sure that something like this doesn't happen again," said Earl. 

Williams says as a community, they have to work collectively to have conversations after these tragedies and rally behind families who have lost a loved one, allowing them to heal by giving them a voice.

RELATED: How to help the community following Buffalo mass shooting


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