|Type of Place||Suburb|
|Politics c. 1860?||Don't Know|
|Unions, Organized Labor?||Don't Know|
|Sundown Town Status|
|Confirmed Sundown Town?||Possible|
|Year of Greatest Interest|
|Was there an ordinance?||Don't Know|
|Still Sundown?||Surely Not|
|Tell Us More About This Town|| |
Amherst is definitely NOT a sundown town. Although there is not a large black population, it's still Buffalo's most racially and culturally integrated suburban community.
The majority of African-Americans in Amherst live in the Willowridge, Eggertsville, Snyder and Maple-North Forest neighborhoods; all middle-class to high income areas. There is some hostility towards the presence of a small apartment complex in the Eggertsville neighborhood (Allenhurst Apartments), where most tenants are moderate-income African-Americans.
James Hecht, Because It Is Right (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970), 23:
Relates the story of Rev. Paul Smith, who bought a house, December, 1963. Whites organized a meeting against his move, but he moved in anyway.
"I live in East Amherst, NY, a small suburb of Buffalo. Amherst, right next door, has been voted "The Safest City in America" for several years running but the org that is responsible for this escapes me right now. Anyway, it is rumored that the Amherst Police "pull over" any young, non white motorists that drive through. I've been told by black guys that I work with that they will drive far out of their way to avoid going through Amherst.
"Several years ago the Amherst Police were reputed (known) to use the radio call sign of "NIA" (N***** in Amherst) when responding to calls; after this revelation, the practice has reportedly been stopped, but who knows?"
"Having attending high school in the Williamsville school district during the 1980's I can state that Amherst/Williamsville areas were not welcoming of black families. The school I attended bused students in from Buffalo. There was great tension amongst those bussed in and those students who lived in the district. I remember a fight breaking between a student bussed in and a resident student. It almost caused a whole race segregation. Other than the students bussed in I would say that of the 1200 students 2-5 kids were black."
"It is also worth noting that Amherst residents are responsible for ending Buffalo's only subway line at its city limits. Although the route was intended to travel from downtown Buffalo up through Amherst, racist suburbanites stopped it by drumming up a fear of black people. They called the proposed subway line "the burglar express" and told stories about how black teenagers would ride it into Amherst, steal televisions, and then escape back on the train."