Archive for February 2nd, 2016

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.