National Museum in Houston notes the soldiers “accepted the
badge of honor and wore it proudly.”
Buffalo Soldiers went on to serve in Mexico, Cuba and the Philip-pines.
They fought in both world wars, and numerous other conflicts.
They served with distinction and honor. The National Veterans Memo-rial
and Museum says they had the lowest desertion and court-martial
rates of their time, and many earned the Medal of Honor.
The last all-black units were disbanded in 1951, three years after
President Harry Truman’s executive order eliminating racial segre-gation
in the armed forces.
In 1992, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed July 28 as
Buffalo Soldiers Day to celebrate their “outstanding legacy of
service.” Bush acknowledged the historically important group’s
contributions to the military and their country, even though “they
often received the worst food and equipment and labored without
the respect and recognition that were their due.”
Indeed, racism is an unfortunate part of the Buffalo Soldiers story.
In the beginning, many white officers refused to command black
regiments. They were separate units, but rarely equal.
“Those things were left out of history,” Shakur says. “If an Afri-can-
American accomplished something, credit was given to a white
Members of the Wilmington Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club gather at Fort Fisher in early October. From left to right: Radue “Zulu” Shakur,
Rigena “Gemini” Shakur, Michael “Motown” Pelzer, Louise Armstrong, Errington “ Bigg EE” Licorish, Jackie “Smitty” Smith, Henry “Hen Dogg”
Mishoe, Vivian “Sugga Mama” Royal, Linda “Silver Spark” Smith, Kendryl “Freight Train” Garner, Tracy “Soulja Gurl” Dillard, Willie “Deuce”
Hutchinson, Sergio “Lobo” Perez, Priscilla “Queen Suga” Kollock and Freddie “Fred Foxx” Graham.