Katherine “Kat” Massey fought for her community.
She was a strong advocate for civil rights and education and did everything she could to uplift Buffalo’s black community, said former Erie County legislator Betty Jean Grant, who is friends with Massey. For more than 20 years.
“We lost a voice yesterday. We lost a mighty, mighty voice,” Grant told the Buffalo News on Sunday.
Massey, 72, was among 10 people killed by an 18-year-old gunman who authorities say was motivated by racial hatred when he drove 3 hours from Conklin, NY, to the Tops supermarket on Jefferson Avenue, and began to systematically cull buyers. and workers.
Massey had gone to Tops to do some shopping. Her sister, Barbara Massey, said their brother was supposed to pick her up when she was done.
On Saturday afternoon, Barbara Massey spent hours dialing her phone as she stood outside the grocery store, trying to get answers. She remained hopeful.
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But a little after 8 p.m., she responded to a text message from a Buffalo News reporter.
“He killed my sister,” wrote Barbara Massey.
A little later, she describes her sister: “She was a beautiful soul.
Massey was a member of “We Are Women Warriors”, which Grant founded. Grant said she, Massey and Eva Doyle were the “three musketeers” of the Women Warriors.
“She made no apologies for making sure our community wasn’t ignored,” Grant said.
Kat Massey has written for the Buffalo Challenger and the Buffalo Criterion and has often written letters to The News.
A year ago, she wrote a letter in support of increased federal gun regulation, in which she spoke about both urban street violence and mass shootings.
“There must be extensive federal action/legislation to address all aspects of the issue,” she wrote. “Currently sought remedies primarily inspired by the massacres—namely, universal background checks and an assault weapons ban—essentially exclude the sources of our city’s gun problems. Illegal handguns, via out-of-state arms trafficking, are the primary culprits.”
Grant was heartbroken to learn of her friend’s death. She knows two of the other deceased victims and one of the survivors, she said.
“All life has value and the loss of all life is truly bad for the family, the community and the city of Buffalo,” Grant said. “But losing such a fighter, someone who was so eloquent…losing that voice.”
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