Head shot of John Torrey

In the News: Buffalo State Professor Shares His Thoughts on Nichols Case, Black History with News Outlets


John Torrey, Buffalo State assistant professor of philosophy and Africana studies, was recently interviewed by two local news outlets on different timely issues.

Torrey, who serves as a member of the City of Buffalo’s Board of Ethics and the New York State 400 Years of African-American History Commission, spoke with local NPR affiliate WBFO-FM 88.7 on January 30 about Tyre Nichols’s fatal beating in Memphis, Tennessee, and subsequent calls for police reform. Torrey also served on the City of Buffalo’s Commission on Police Reform from 2020 to 2021.

The issues-related show Buffalo, What’s Next featured Torrey’s interview soon after Memphis Police released the video footage of Nichols’s arrest and brutal attack. The interview can also be heard on Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts.

And on February 1, Torrey shared his knowledge of some lesser-known facts about Buffalo’s Black history with AM Buffalo on WKBW-TV Channel 7.

Torrey pointed to Buffalo State’s Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, which is currently located in the Archives and Special Collections of E. H. Butler Library. Established at Buffalo State by former President Muriel Howard, the center continues and expands the archival collection work begun more than 30 years ago by Monroe Fordham, professor of history at Buffalo State from 1970 to 1998. The collection contains newspapers, photographs, personal papers, and organizational records that preserve the history of Black Buffalo, particularly that of East Buffalo. Torrey noted that the center continues to serve as a resource for the campus and surrounding community.

Torrey will continue to talk about Buffalo’s Black history on AM Buffalo each Wednesday morning throughout the month of February.