Actor, Director, Writer Addison Henderson Visits SEM

He discussed his documentary about Buffalo, "The Forgotten City."

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Actor, director and writer Addison Henderson came to Buffalo Seminary to discuss his documentary film “The Forgotten City” on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 1. Students viewed his film in English and History faculty Carey Miller’s room in the days preceding his visit.

Mr. Henderson described the bitter realities of the urban environment while growing up on the East Side of Buffalo. After training to be a professional actor in New York City and starting his acting career in Los Angeles, he returned to his hometown in 2005 to direct the documentary “The Forgotten City,” which explores race relations and segregation in the inner city of Buffalo.

The Colby Room was crowded with students and faculty who sat and listened from their seats as Mr. Henderson stood behind the podium and captivated the audience with his inspirational stories from his life.

“I left to go pursuing my dream in Los Angeles but now I’m back because I love this city which taught me how to live, how to be a man and how to be strong,” said Mr. Henderson. “Wherever I am, I take Buffalo with me.”

Mr. Henderson also spoke about the representation and perception of black people. “When I look at the society as a whole, if we continued to fight for the things are good, the world would become a peaceful place. Things aren’t changed overnight, but I think step by step, little by little, moment by moment, grief by grief, if we live in a positive way, accept the way who we are and keep things moving forward, things will change,” said Mr. Henderson.

Ms. Miller, who organized the event, thought that the discussion with Mr. Henderson about “The Forgotten City” is important to bridge a gap between East Side of Buffalo and those who knew nothing about it. “Along with our reflection in Black History Month, this opportunity also lets the students of color at SEM to see a strong representative who just looks like them,” said Ms. Miller.