NIC presents Buffalo Soldiers talk in honor of Black History Month

|photo1|Dressed in an authentic 1880s cavalry uniform, historical reenactor and educator Albert Wilkerson will act as Top Sergeant Wilkie as he brings alive the history of the “Peacekeepers of the Old West: The Buffalo Soldiers” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 in North Idaho College’s Todd Hall, located inside Molstead Library.
In 1866, Congress broke the tradition of an all-white peacetime military and allowed African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Army. The two cavalry units, of six regiments that were authorized, faced the prejudice of white officers who refused to serve with the regiments as well as the harsh conditions in the Southwestern desert.
The Native Americans honored them with the title “buffalo soldiers,” as they thought their hair resembled the fur between the horns of buffalos. Despite the obstacles they faced, the regiments won the praise of many commanders, had few deserters and a high number of troops who earned the medal of honor.
“I have always liked horses and western movies and as a boy, wondered why there were no black cowboys in the movies,” Wilkerson said. “I set out to research the subject and found that a great black cowboy, Bill Pickett, who worked on the ‘101’ Texas ranch was one of many black cowboys in the West. In addition, my research found that blacks served in the U.S. Army in the 1880s post-Civil War era.”
The event is presented in honor of Black History Month as part of Molstead Library's history series. It is free and open to the public.
Information: (208) 769-3355.

For More Information
NIC Molstead Library Assistant-Circulation Skip Kuck, (208) 769-3355

Posted: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006

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