(WIVB) — A career educator is like a walking encyclopedia of Black American history- especially as it relates to Western New York.
Dr. Eva M. Doyle retired from Buffalo Public Schools 16 years ago, but she’s still teaching folks in Western New York and around the world about their history- and paying to get her lessons across.
Every year for the past seven years, she posts a billboard along Michigan Avenue at her own expense.
“I said, what other things can I do to get this information to not only the African-American community, but the entire Western New York area,” Doyle said.
Dr. Doyle received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Buffalo State College as she pursues her Ph.D. She also writes a column for the Buffalo Criterion, the oldest Black-owned newspaper in Western New York.
The Buffalo News runs her column, “Eye on History”, every Sunday in February.
Her column has also been printed in other newspapers around the country.
“I am not just educating the African-American community, I am educating people from all ethnic backgrounds,” Dr. Doyle said. “I think that is very important.”
Dr. Doyle just wrapped up a long stint hosting a radio talk show on WUFO, Western New York’s only Black-owned radio station.
But her pride and joy is the Freedom Wall- which features images of 28 civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and local torchbearers like former Deputy State Assembly Leader Arthur O. Eve and late Common Councilman George Arthur.
“Just to be in the presence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who is on the wall, Rosa Parks, the mother of the Civil Rights movement, who is on the wall, the Hon. Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for president in 1972,” Dr. Doyle said.
She not only reveres history as a student and a teacher, but she wholeheartedly supports history as an economic engine for Buffalo, which is becoming a destination for cultural tourism.
Doyle says the Michigan Street African-American Heritage Corridor has so much potential, and she believes it’s just a matter of time until it becomes a world attraction.
“Hopefully, when we are out of this pandemic, and I think we have learned a lot also- maybe we can come together and create a better world for us all,” Dr. Doyle said.