A book of memories, of life and death

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, Brian Ellis was a 10-year-old boy living in Niagara Falls, New York. To capture the time and help understand what was going on at the time, not only in New York, but around the country, he began keeping a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and other items.

Since then, Mr. Ellis has used his book as an educational tool to keep alive the meaning of what happened during those years of civil unrest and social change. He shared the book with us and told us of his feelings about how Black history must be remembered as the years pass.

Please watch the videos of his conversation. The first is the shorter edited version and the second is the complete unedited version of his conversation as he sat in the Jefferson County Museum.

In the unedited version, Mr. Ellis speaks of his work at a local elementary as a Read Aloud volunteer and the considerations of book choice about Black History Month for kindergartners, memories of racial changes in the country and the time a relative of his met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Also, please watch our recent conversation with long-time resident George Rutherford and his thoughts about Black History Month and his experiences as a Black man in Jefferson County since the 1930s.

Edited version of the conversation with Mr. Brian Ellis about the scrapbook he began as a 10-year-old in 1968
Complete, unedited version of the conversation with Mr. Brian Ellis

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