top of page



April 2019 TED Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo taken by Ryan Lash/TED.


Full Credits


Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin (Amma)

Melissa Joyner (Mary Talbert)

Jeremy Robin Lyons (Pianist)

Jon-Michael Reese (W.E.B. Du Bois)


AT BUFFALO: A New Musical Credits

Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Lead Artist and Co-Writer

Khalil Sullivan, Co-Writer

Joshua Williams, Co-Writer

Deadria Harrington, Creative Producer

Jim Augustine, Co-Conceiver


AT BUFFALO logo designed by: Byron McCray


Sam Hose News Clippings Re-designed by:

Jennifer Wolfe and Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin


Sam Hose News Clippings Animations inspired by:

May Liang


Research Assistance for this TED Talk: Naila Ansari


Research and Development supported in part by:


  • 2019 MAP Fund Grant

  • Fall 2017 Creative Arts Initiative Artist-In-Residence Program (Univ. at Buffalo)

  • 2017-18 College of Arts and Sciences Visiting Professorship in the Arts (Univ. at Buffalo)

  • 2016 Rhinebeck Writers Retreat

  • 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival, Developmental Reading Series

  • Cap 21 Writers Residency

  • Center for Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellowship (CU-Boulder)

  • Kayden Research Award (CU-Boulder)

  • Innovative Seed Grant (CU-Boulder)

  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

  • Harvey Fellowship (Mustard Seed Foundation)

  • John Hope Franklin Dissertation Fellowship (American Philosophical Society)

  • Torch Prize Fellowship (New York University)



Songs played from the AT BUFFALO score

“Hands Across from the Sea”

Archival Music by John Phillip Sousa (1899)


“Deepest, Darkest Africa”

Original Melody and Lyrics by Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin

Additional music credit: Jeremy Robin Lyons and Nehemiah Luckett 


 “Turkey in the Straw: A Rag-time Fantasie”

Archival Folk Song (1835). Adaptation by Otto Bonnell (1899)


“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”

Archival Song by James Weldon Johnson (lyrics, 1900) and J. Rosamond Johnson (music, 1905)


“Nearer My God To Thee”

Archival Song by Sarah Adams (1841) & Edward Bickersteth and Lowell Mason (1856)


“Don’t Be Alarmed”

Original Music and Lyrics by Khalil Sullivan and Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin


“We Must, We are Unanimous”

Original Music by Khalil Sullivan. Lyrics by Khalil Sullivan and Josephine Ayankoya with Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin and Joshua Williams. Based on “Negro Exhibit: Buffalo Negroes Think Their Race Should be Recognized at the Pan-American Exposition,” Commercial Advertiser (Buffalo), November 12, 1900 and “Negro Exhibit at Pan-American:  Colored People of Buffalo are Aroused at the Matter,” Times (Buffalo), November 12, 1900.


“Red Ray”

Original Music and lyrics by Khalil Sullivan with Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin and Joshua Williams. Based on W.E.B. Du Bois, The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century, ed. Herbert Aptheker (New York: International Publishers, 1968; repr., eighth printing, 1983), 220. For further reading: Du Bois, Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept (1940), in Writings, ed. Nathan Huggins, (New York: The Library of America, 1986; repr., First Library of America College Edition, 1996), 602; Du Bois, W. E. B. Du Bois: A Recorded Autobiography Interviewed by Moses Asch, Compact Disc FH5511, Smithsonian Folkways Records, 1961.


“But We Must Jest”

Original Music and lyrics by Khalil Sullivan


“We Must, We are Unanimous” (Demo Recording)

Performed by Khalil Sullivan   

Archival Content and Images Courtesy of or Reproduced with the Permission of

The Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo, New York

[Panoramic Photograph of the Fairgrounds at Night] - "The Latest and Best Views of the

Pan-American Exposition," T 485 .B86 L3 1901. Notice: This image has been

slightly enhanced for dramatic purposes by adding color to the night sky and

enhancing the stars therein.

[Photograph of Mary B. Talbert] - General photograph collection, Persons - T


Buffalo & Erie County Public Library – Special Collections and Rare Books (B&ECPL),

Buffalo, New York

            The Old Plantation and Its Ballyhoo” from Richard Barry's Snap Shots on the Midway of

the Pan-Am Expo (Buffalo, NY: Richard Allen Reid, 1901).

           [Photo of the American Negro Exhibit] from the Souvenir Pamphlet of the Negro Exhibit

           Newspaper clippings, Pan American Scrapbooks, vols. 1-24:

“Bright Negro Women:  Interesting Convention…,” Buffalo Express,  July 8, 1901, clipping. vol. 14.

“From Darkest Africa,” Buffalo Express,  June 11, 1901, clipping. vol. 12.

“Negro Exhibit: Buffalo Negroes Think Their Race Should Be Recognized at the Pan-American Exposition.”

Commercial Advertiser (Buffalo), November 12, 1900, clipping. vol. 7

“Old Plantation Befo' De Wah,” Buffalo News, May 6, 1900, clipping. vol. 5.

“Pan-American:  Negroes Ask to Have Part in the Exposition,” Buffalo Courier, December 16, 1898,

clipping. vol. 1.

“Plantation Most Delightful Feature,” Buffalo Courier, April 11, 1901, clipping. vol. 9.

“Savage Dance for Gas Stove,” Buffalo Courier,  July  25, 1901, clipping. vol. 15.


Library of Congress (LC), Washington, DC

            Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

“A Man Hunt in Georgia,” The Watchman and Southron. (Sumter, S.C.), April 19, 1899.

“Mob’s Awful Violence Against a Negro Fiend,” The Salt Lake Herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah), April 24,


“A TERRIBLE CRIME. A Negro Cut to Pieces and Burned Alive for Murder and Rape...” The

Bellefontaine Republican. (Bellefontaine, Logan County, Ohio), April 25, 1899.

“Cut to Pieces by a Mob,” The Globe-republican. (Dodge City, Kan.), April  27, 1899.

“Negro Burned at the Stake” The Record-Union. [volume] (Sacramento, Calif.), April 24, 1899. 

“Took Savage Revenge,” Rock Island Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), April 24, 1899.


Daniel Murray Collection, Prints and Photographs Division

                    Thomas E. Askew [photographer] and W.E.B. Du Bois [collector], [African American girl, half-length

portrait, with right hand to cheek, with illustrated book on table], c.1900. LC-USZ62-63574

                    --------, Four African American women seated on steps of building at Atlanta University,

Georgia], c.1900. LC-DIG-ppmsca-08778 

                    W.E.B. Du Bois [collector], [African American man, half-length portrait, seated, facing front.], c.1900.


                    --------, [Young African American woman, three-quarter length portrait, standing, facing slightly

right, with left hand on back of chair], c.1900. LC-USZ62-121112


Prints and Photographs Division

                     “Birdseye view of the Pan-American exposition, Buffalo, May 1 to November 1, 1901” c. 1900. LC-


                      C.D. Arnold, [Machinery Building illuminated at night, Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, N.Y.

1901], c.1901. LC-USZ62-41765 DLC

                      --------, [N.Y. - Buffalo - Pan American Expo. - panoramic view, with Electric Tower in center] c.

1901. LC-USZ62-48254

                       --------, “War dance - African village,” c.1901. LC-USZ62-46222

                      J.E. Purdy, “William Edward Burghardt Du Bois,” c.1904. LC-USZ62-28485

                      O. Newton Cripps, “Picking Cotton Scene,” c.1902. LC-USZ62-35626

                      T. Dart Walker, “Assassination of President McKinley” c.1905. LC-USZ62-5377


            Paper Print Collection, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division

   Arthur Marvin, “Ballyhoo Cakewalk.” American Mutuscope and Biograph Co., 1903.

   Edwin S. Porter [camera], et al. “Pan-American Exposition by Night.” Thomas A. Edison, Inc.




“1901 Pan-American Exposition-Darkest Africa,” c.1901. Courtesy of Clemens Radauer,

Collections Radauer. Private collection.


1899. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.


14,1899. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

“Negro Dies at the Stake. Mr. And Mrs. Cranford’s Assailant Burned by a Georgia Mob. HIS

BODY CUT IN MANY PIECES Flames End the Torture After Half An Hour Partial

Confession Implicates a Colored Preacher.” The New York Times, April 24, 1899.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

“SAM HOSE IS LYNCHED: Georgia Mob Chain and Burn the Negro at a Tree. REMAINS CUT UP AS

SOUVENIRS Capture, Identification, and Confession of the Fiend Who Murdered

Alfred Cranford and Assaulted His Wife--Taken to Palmetto by a Large Crowd and Put to

Death in Most Revolting Manner--His Accomplice Also Arrested…” The Washington Post,

April 24, 1899. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.




“Bright Negro Women:  Interesting Convention…,” Buffalo Express, July 8, 1901. B&ECPL Pan-

American Scrapbook. (The quote the character MARY TALBERT in AT BUFFALO speaks:

“...this country insists upon judging the negro by its most lowest and vicious

Representatives” was originally stated by Mary Church Terrell.)

Edward S. Martin, “A Short Sermon for Sight-Seers,” in Pan-American Art Hand-book: Sculpture, Architecture,

Painting: Official Handbook of Architecture and Sculpture and Art Catalogue to the Pan-American Exposition, ed. David Gray,  (Buffalo, NY: David Gray, 1901), 11.

W.E. Burghardt Du Bois, “The American Negro at Paris.” The American Monthly Review of

            Reviews, vol. XXII, no. 5 (November 1900): pp. 575-577. 

--------. The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois:  A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last

Decade of Its First Century, ed. Herbert Aptheker (New York: International Publishers,

1968; repr., eighth printing, 1983).

bottom of page