Frank B. Mesiah’s name was synonymous with the fight for civil and human rights. Last Friday Frank’s assignment here on earth ended. He died at the age of 89 years young. Services for Mr. Mesiah included a wake at St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell St., on Friday, May 11 from 5-7:30 p.m. On the following day, Saturday, May 12, from 10-11am another wake was held followed by funeral services from 11 to 1 p.m. also at St. John In lieu of flowers.
The former President of the Buffalo Branch NAACP, also served as First-Vice-President of the New York State Conference of NAACP Branches. He retired as Regional Administrator in the Division of Equal Opportunity Development of the New York State Department of Labor. Following retirement, he conducted workshops on Sexual Harassment Prevention, Managing Diversity, the Americans with disabilities Act and general Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action, (EEO/AA) programs. Mesiah worked for several years as a part time instructor at Canisius College (teaching a graduate course in Managing Diversity) and part-time with Cornell University Buffalo Labor Studies Program, teaching Managing Diversity, and generalEEO/AA courses.
He was also the host of, “The NAACP Speaks” a weekly radio program on radio station WUFO 96.5 FM/1080AM . Frank had extensive community service, in addition to his work with the local and State NAACP, he also served in the following capacities: Board member of the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier — this organization was founded in 1977 to preserve and disseminate state and regional African American history. Mesiah was one of five founding members. He also served as the Secretary to the Black Leadership Forum and on numerous boards. He was project director of the Black American Museum & Cultural Center in Niagara Falls.
He entered politics in 1976 but lost a close race for the state senate. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, his portrait is included on the Freedom Wall at Michigan and East Ferry. Born and raised on Buffalo’s West side, he attended Grover Cleveland High School. He earned his Bachelor’s degree and masters degree while working as a Buffalo police officer, serving for 13 years.
He and his beloved wife, Ulrica , were married in 1050. She made her transition on just four months ago on December 17 of last year. Survivors include three daughters, Leza M., Nicolette F. and Francesca; and a brother, Clarence.
Job well done Frank!
( The majority of his bio is excerpted from the Uncrowned Community Builders series.)