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Anita Porter Davis

Born on 10-3-1936. She was born in Williamsport, PA.
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Anita Davis was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on October 3, 1936. She was the eldest of six children of Malcolm C. and Jessie L. Ratchford Porter. Anita moved to Buffalo, with her family, in 1943. She attended schools #47 and Fosdick Masten High School in the Buffalo Public School System, before graduating from East High School in 1954. Her studies in high school enhanced a career in social and political opportunities. Anita spent her first semester of college at Buffalo State College. She received a degree in Criminal Justice from Florida A & M University. Anita has taken other studies in criminal justice at Florida State University and New York State University at Buffalo. Anita was certified in 1998 as a Florida Supreme Court Mediator. Anita's work history includes work as a fiscal bookkeeper with the Upstate Dairymen's Association and Queen City Dairy; the only owned and operated home delivery milk products services.

Anita is married to Morris Davis, who is retired from the United States Air Force. After spending years traveling with her military family, retiring and returning to Buffalo, she joined the B.U.I.L.D. organization helping to formulate the Halfway House for ex-offenders. Anita served as both the Assistant Director and the Director of the Halfway House. The Halfway House provided a supportive environment where ex-offenders could transition back into their families and community. The program offered assistance with employment, school and basic human needs. The halfway house concept resulted from the Attica Prison riots in September 1971. The first one officially opened in 1972 and still exists as one of the best transitional programs of its kind.

Anita's love for her community led to the development of the Nifty Enterprise Company. The Company purchased houses from the City, renovated and sold them to low income families. She also served as president of the Glenwood Neighborhood Association for six years. In addition, she served on the board of directors of the African American Cultural Center and was an active member of the Buffalo Branch NAACP and a founding member of Juneteenth, Inc. She was a member of St. Paul's M.B. Baptist Church. Anita still visits Buffalo to attend the Pine Grill Reunion, where she worked for twelve years.

Anita and her family moved to Tallahassee, Florida in 1979 to reunite with her son, a student at Florida State University. Since moving to Tallahassee, Anita has been very active in that community. She has been president of the Tallahassee branch of the NAACP and the Jake Gaither Neighborhood Association. In 1990, Anita started the Tallahassee Branch ACT-SO program.

Mrs. Davis was recently honored for her contributions to the Tallahassee community, which included a letter from Governor Charlie Crist commending her for her dedication to the citizens of Florida and testimonials from others whose lives she's impacted. "You name it, she's been there", said Roosevelt Wilson, publisher of Capitol Outlook. "You don't see any fights for justice where she's not involved. It's almost like we take her for granted because we just know she's going to be there." One of Davis' former students, Sam Carter, said that Davis' intervention kept him from a life of crime. He now has a program where he helps students get to college.

Anita is the mother of Wayne Lyles, Mark Lyles and the late Lynn M. Jefious Lyles.