The Design

The design of the African American Veterans Monument is a matrix, serving as both a timeline and map of longitudinal coordinates. Each of the 12 black concrete pillars that will be 10 feet tall, and 3 feet wide, are placed in a chronological sequence, corresponding to the dates that each of the country’s 12 military conflicts took place. The matrix’s longitudinal coordinates represent the location where the war began. The spacing between the pillars represent peace times between each war.

The tops of the 12 black concrete pillars will illuminate, representing the candles that families would put in their windows as a beacon to guide a soldier home. The light emanating from the top of each pillar will continuously glow as an eternal reminder of the commitments made by African American Veterans.

The Monument's design was created by Jonathan Casey and the team at Solid 716. For an initial view of the rendering CLICK HERE.

The Idea

In 2014, The Erie County Chapter of the Links, Inc. commissioned a project to record the names of all deceased Western New York African American Veterans. The project was introduced to the community in 2016. Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes committed to convening a committee to plan the construction of the country’s first Monument to honor African American Veterans.

African American Veterans Monument Inc.

Board of Directors

Hon. Crystal Peoples-Stokes
NYS Assembly, District 141


Warren Galloway, Chairman

US Air Force


Robin E. Hodges, Vice Chairman
US Navy, 
Delaware North


Mark J. Boyd, Treasurer
Chief of Staff, 
Hon. Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes

Madeline O. Scott, Secretary
Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier


Ronal R. Bassham
US Air Force (Ret.)


Richard A. Cummings
US Air Force, ARC & Comm

Henry W. Curtis, III

US Army (Ret.)

Christian Johnson

CEO, Beautiful Brains

Mark "Ranger" Jones

CEO, Ranger Group

Andrea D. Mays

The Links Incorporated - Erie County (NY) Chapter

Brenda L. Moore, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, SUNY Buffalo

Laura Montante-Zaepfel
Uniland Development Company

Van Taylor
Van Taylor Productions, Inc.


Jonathan Watts, PE

Watts Architecture and Engineering

Fern Beavers (In Memoriam)