Photo by Serafima Lazarenko on Unsplash

In remembrance of the lives lost in Buffalo, New York

Jeffrey Rousseau
5 min readMay 19, 2022

This past Saturday, in Buffalo New York, ten human beings’ lives were stolen by an accepted function of America.

I’ve grappled with how should I remember them. Or rather what feels like the most earnest way to think about them? — lost count as to how many times we’ve been here during my Black life

Do I decry how society values Black lives? How every corner of society will make me a social pariah if I don’t shut up and just accept this like the sky is blue? — a few of futile efforts millions of us have done in perpetuity

Instead I’ll try to write about who these people were, from what I know anyway.

Because the unfortunate truth is they’ll conveniently and neatly fold them away in “thoughts and prayers.”

The following are quotes in remembrance of these individuals from their loved ones. Pulled from various reports across multiple publications.

Katherine Massey, 72

“[Katherine Massey] did a lot, never stopped. She had a task a day,” niece Dawn Massey, 30, said. “She was so prevalent in the community. She was so adamant about her community, where her family resides.”

“She was the greatest person you will ever meet in your life,” said nephew Demetrius Massey, 39.

Aaron Salter Jr., 55

“People are telling me that they used to be locals at the store and every time they would go into the store, he would talk to them, that he was always kind to them. And that really meant a lot, from a complete stranger, telling me that when they would go into the store, he made them feel safe.

“He was a stand-up guy,” his son said.

Ruth Whitfield, 86

“She was also someone people could talk to without fear of judgement, she added, a good listener who “would choose her words wisely before she responded and speak love into any situation you had going on.”

“Kamilah added that her grandmother — who was also her downstairs neighbor — was building a “beautiful relationship” with her 17-month-old baby, who would knock on her door for a hug or kiss every time they came and went.”

Jeffrey Rousseau

I bat for PoCs, marginalized, equality, inclusion & geekdom. I'm warming the bench until coach subs me in.