Archive for the 'Buffalo Soldiers' Category

TPW TV: Buffalo Soldiers

Friday, March 25th, 2016
Devonte Hill

Devonte Hill, decked out as a Buffalo Soldier

This is Passport to Texas

After graduating from college, but before entering the working world, Devonte Hill—who has a passion for storytelling—volunteered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Buffalo Soldier program.

 I was a Texas state parks youth ambassador and got turned on to the Buffalo Soldiers program. I’m always open to new experiences.

Buffalo Soldiers entered Texas history in 1866; these African American men assisted and protected settlement as it moved westward. Texas parks and Wildlife developed the Buffalo Soldier program to preserve that history. As a volunteer, Devonte wore a soldier’s uniform to help bring history to life for grade school students.

 I don’t have too much experience with kids besides my cousins; so it will be interesting dealing with the little people. [laughs]

The program uses the Buffalo Soldier’s rich heritage and history to connect urban audiences to the outdoors. This is important because, as Devonte points out…

When you see things on TV about outdoors and things like that, all you really see is a certain type of demographic. And so you kind of get raised thinking those things are not for me.

Devonte Hill has gone on to a job in television, and says his work with the Buffalo Soldiers was life changing.

Hopefully this is the first step to me continuing my training and practice at being a storyteller. And this is part of my story.

See a segment with Devonte Hill and other Buffalo Soldier volunteers next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Buffalo Soldiers a Positive Influence on Youth

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016
Buffalo Soldier reenactors participating in parade in downtown Austin, Texas.

Buffalo Soldier reenactors participating in parade in downtown Austin, Texas.


This is Passport to Texas

Buffalo soldiers were heroes in their time; examples of courage and hard work. But their accomplishments, seldom taught in classrooms, leave many young African American students, like Greg McClanahan, with a limited sense of their history.

They didn’t teach us anything in school but that we were slaves. They didn’t teach us that we were heroes or nothing. In history, all you ever heard about was slaves this, and slaves that. You didn’t hear about no black heroes.

When we met, McClanahan was attending public school in Kerrville, where he was introduced to Buffalo Soldier reenactors from Parks and Wildlife.

What we are doing is taking the legacy of the Buffalo Soldier into the cities and into the schools. And we feel that sharing this story, that we can instill some pride and some resolve in them.

Ken Pollard retired from coordinating Buffalo Soldiers Heritage & Community Outreach for Parks and Wildlife. He said he found out about the Buffalo Soldiers as an adult, but wished he’d known about them earlier.

My relatives and kinfolk were cowboys, man. We didn’t have any black cowboys or soldiers, you know, to really look up to. For me, to have the black heroes there when I was growing up, that sense of pride would have been instilled in me. But if I had grown up with that—they would have been my heroes.

Find information about Buffalo Soldiers Heritage & Community Outreach on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Buffalo Soldiers: Unsung Texas Heroes

Monday, February 1st, 2016
Buffalo Soldier reenactors.

Buffalo Soldier reenactors.

This is Passport to Texas

[singing] I was once a captured slave. Now I’m just a black man who came to be….[fade and play under script]

In the 19th Century, Black men who served in the 9th and 10th Regiments of Cavalry and 24th and 25th Regiments of Infantry of the United States Army were …

I am a Buffalo Soldier!

It’s said the Indians whom they fought during the Indian Wars gave troops the name because of their hair texture and their courage and ferocity in battle.

He feared and respected the buffalo. And he learned to fear and respect the black soldier as well.

That’s Buffalo Soldier reenactor, John Olivera, who says Buffalo soldiers played a major role in settling Texas.

Seventy-five percent of the soldiers that settled this area were Buffalo Soldiers. The only white men that were with them were the commanding officers. Almost all of the forts were manned and built by Buffalo Soldiers.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department offers Texas Buffalo Soldier Outdoor Educational Programs. Find their schedule on the Parks and Wildlife website.

The Buffalo Soldiers fought not only the Indians, and outlaws, but racism and prejudice. We had a job to do, and we done it.

That’s our show…Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV: Buffalo Soldiers

Friday, March 20th, 2015
Buffalo Soldier Reenactors

Buffalo Soldier Reenactors

This is Passport to Texas

With a lack of relatable role models, it’s easy to understand why some urban youth may feel estranged from the outdoors.

04— You get raised thinking: Okay, these things are not really for me.

Twenty-two-year-old Devonte Hill recently graduated from college, and makes short documentary films about the outdoors. Meet him on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show.

07—What I really want to be is a storyteller. I just want to show people things that maybe they hadn’t seen before – give them a
different reality.

Hill learned about the Buffalo Soldier Program when he was a State Park Ambassador, and started sharing their reality with other young people.

13—The Buffalo Soldiers were created in 1866 to assist and protect the settlement as it continued to move further out west. Luis Padilla works with the Buffalo Soldier Program; he says they were the first black professional men in the US Army.

14—When the Native Americas saw the Buffalo Soldier, he wasn’t used to seeing a man of this color in the wool uniform. So, the only thing the Indian could do at that point is compare this new soldier to something he knew out on the frontier. And that something on the frontier just happened to be the buffalo.

The soldiers also had a reputation for being fierce fighters. Learn about their contributions to Texas history on the PBS Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series the week of March 29 through April 4, 2015. Check your local listings.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.