Black Rock Group
The Black Rock Group (BRG) is a strategic communications and public affairs firm led by Michael Dubke, Carl Forti and Brian Jones. We have a proven track record of creating effective public policy, political and strategic communications campaigns. Our team works collaboratively with clients to shape public debates through paid, earned and digital media strategies.
Black Rock – The Name
With Black Rock playing such an important role in the history of Buffalo, it only makes sense the two founding partners from Western New York would use the name.
During the War of 1812, British forces burned the town of Black Rock and its neighboring city of Buffalo. Despite this setback, Black Rock was able to rebuild and achieve economic prosperity after the war and into the next decade.
It wasn’t long, however, until Black Rock found itself in another battle – this time with its rival, Buffalo, for the rights to be the terminus of the Erie Canal. In 1822, the state legislature decided the Erie Canal would end in Buffalo.
In spite of losing the Erie Canal terminus and being burned to the ground by the British, Black Rock continued to prosper and in 1839, was incorporated as a town. In 1853, the New York state legislature granted Buffalo a new city charter, allowing for the annexation of Black Rock. This marked the end of a nearly 40-year rivalry between the two villages.
Later, because of its strategic position across the Niagara River from Canada, Black Rock was an important crossing place for African-Americans escaping slavery via the Underground Railroad.
A railroad bridge was constructed in 1870, an engineering marvel at the time, connecting the United States and Canada. Running through Black Rock, the railroad served to transport passengers and commercial goods. To this day, it continues to serve as a key shipping route between the two nations.
Today, Black Rock is a thriving neighborhood in the northwest section of the city of Buffalo.