Memorial to the victims outside Tops Market after the May 14 massacre

In the News: Peraza Puts Tops Shooting into Historical Context


Steve Peraza, assistant professor of history and social studies education at Buffalo State University, spoke to Spectrum News for a February 15 story about how history will view the racially charged massacre that took place on May 14 at Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue.

Peraza, who teaches American and African American history, said that when historians research massacres like the one on May 14, they can tie them to events that happened long ago and look for ways that issues could have been fixed then or could be in the future. 

“I think when historians are finding sources and they’re telling stories, we can be a little bit more upfront about wanting our story to shape the present,” he said in the piece. “So, I like the idea of finding a problem in the present and seeking its solution in the past.”

Peraza added that there are opportunities for Buffalo to be in the national discussions when it comes to this era of race relations in the United States.

Photo by Laurie Kaiser.