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Christine Ann Castro Parker

She was born in Buffalo, NY. She is accomplished in the area of Historian.
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Born in June, 1959, Christine Ann Castro is a native of Buffalo, New York. Christine is the eldest of five children born to Pedro Angelo Castro, Sr. (Puerto Rico) and Clara May Wright (Buffalo) and the eldest of twenty-three grandchildren of Lawrence Wright (North Carolina) and Stephanie Martinez Berrios (Buffalo). Her family tree is unique and is attributed to her ancestors for her tenacity and creativity beginning with her immigrant maternal great grandparents, Santos Martinez (Mexico) and Clemencia (Anegada, British Virgin Islands) who migrated to Buffalo separately in 1913, married and settled in Lackawanna before moving to Buffalo, living on Pine and Eagle Streets.

Christine's paternal ancestral history is deeply rooted in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Her father, Pedro's mother, Angelina Ubiles is a descendant of Bioko, a small island off the west coast of Africa between Senegal and Guinea. Her ancestors were enslaved persons working in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico maintaining the sugar plantations throughout the island. Santos Castro, her grandfather is a descendant of Spain and were horsebreeders brought to the island during the early colonization of Puerto Rico.

Christine was raised in Buffalo's unique neighborhoods (South Division Street, Lemon Street in the Fruit Belt, Johnson & Best Streets and South Park - on the other side of the railroad tracks). Christine's faith has been her guide since she was a child, raised in Delaine Waring African Episcopal Church (AMEC), her family is one of the charter families of Agape AMEC before joining Bethel AMEC under Reverend G. Grant Crumpley, pastor.

She was educated in the Buffalo Catholic and Public Schools, attending the former St. Mary of Sorrows, public schools 28, South Side Junior School and South Park High School. As a student in junior and senior high school, Christine was the founder of the South Side Drill Team, and a member of the South Side and South Park school bands as well as Buffalo's All-High Band under the direction of Caroll Geiger. In her senior year of high school, Christine was selected to participate in the Executive Internship Program supported by the Buffalo Public Schools; she graduated June 1978.

Following high school, Christine attended Houghton College and dropped out. It was not until the election of President Barack H. Obama (2007) she decided to return to college and persue a degree. With no direction or focus, only a promise to return, she enrolled in Erie Community College and within two years she received her Associates in Arts-Humanities (2012). It was not until she attended SUNY Buffalo State when her passion began to shape her future; "returning to school at the age of 50 is no joke, but, I'm going to give it my best shot", she recalled often walking the campus.

In 2014, received a Bachelors of Art in History. During those two years she met a dynamic history professor who challenged her to become the best in whatever you set your mind to do; the late Dr. Felix L. Armfield encouraged Christine to apply for the Masters program - something she admits was not on the radar. During her last semester of her undergraduate studies, Christine was set to task a preliminary study on John Edmonston Brent (1889-1962), Buffalo's first African American architect. Before the study was completed, Dr. Armfield passed away. Admitted into the SUNY Buffalo State Graduate School with a full scholarship, a Diversity Research Fellowship and the E.O. Smith Scholarship. First semester she recalled sitting in the empty hallways of the Class Room Building questioning her decision, "Why Am I here?", shortly recognizing the connections, "I will always be a historian and Museum Studies is the platform to tell their unique stories".

The Brent research revealed the most comprehensive study, co-curated her first exhibition, Through These Gates: Buffalo's first African American Architect, John Edmonston (Burchfield Penney Art Center, October 2016-March 2016), a documentary of the same title and has published her first book, Out of the Shadows (Amazon.com 2018) with a second Brent Exhibition (Karpeles Porter Avenue Museum, Buffalo). A new career has emerged, organizing her first non profit organization,

The Sankofa Heritage Collective, Inc. where history comes to life through the arts. Its important to preserve, educate and empower future generations to find their baseline and reconnect, very much like she has done. She attributes her baseline to her grandmother, Stephanie, a pioneering Latina, founder and executive director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Community Center, Inc. serving the Ellicott District of Buffalo from 1967-1984 and Cousin Malcolm Erni, founder and executive director of the African American Cultural Center from 1958-1978. It's not by accident I found my way in the preservation of culture, arts and history; for my family are rooted in those cultural institutions in Buffalo.

Christine believes she has begun to see the connections, what I've searching for all my life. She often wonder what will left behind; trust, responsibility, advocacy, and excellence. It's very clear - share your gifts, so that others may see your true self. Following my meetings with my mentor, I would depart by saying, "I have work to do".... Today, those words are my reality!