HESE riders are members of the Wilmington Buffalo
Soldiers Motorcycle Club, united by a passion for their
“When we’re out riding, we’re out fellowshipping,”
Graham says. “We don’t have to be going to any particular event. We
just enjoy the love of motorcycle riding.”
They are also united by their mission — to promote an important
piece of American history, one that is largely unknown or forgotten.
“We are a very professional and proud group of motorcyclists who
not only love motorcycling but the history of the original Buffalo
Soldiers who we carry on our back,” Shakur says. “We carry those
with pride. When we put those vests on, we’re not only protecting
our core, but we are carrying the history of the original soldiers who
we never want to forget.”
The Buffalo Soldiers date back to 1866, 17 months after the Civil
War ended. Black soldiers had fought in the bloody conflict. The 37th
Colored Infantry was involved in the first and second battles of Fort
Fisher and the Carolinas Campaign. But they couldn’t enlist in the
peacetime army until the 1866 act of Congress.
“The original Buffalo Soldiers were prior slaves, prior sharecrop-pers,”
Shakur says. “They wanted to prove to the U.S. government
they could be more than slaves, more than sharecroppers. They
could be 100 percent men, just like white men. They served with
They served on the Western frontier, escorting settlers, cattle
drives, and railroad crews. The 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments
conducted campaigns against American Indian tribes from
Montana to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Native Americans gave them the name “Buffalo Soldiers,” perhaps
because of their winter coats made from buffalo hides, or because
their courage and valor reminded the warriors of the mighty animal.
The origins of the name are uncertain, but the Buffalo Soldiers
WBM november 2020