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National Buffalo Soldier Day organizers say they want to humanize their history

The event will take place at approximately 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fort Concho National Historic Landmark.
Credit: NAACP San Angelo

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The San Angelo NAACP and Fort Concho will be commemorating the 154th National Buffalo Soldier Day Tuesday.

National Buffalo Solider Day organizers hope to bring light to many other soldiers’ untold stories.

Sherley Spears, Fort Concho board member, briefly explained the history behind this day.

“It’s based on a 1992 proclamation from Congress that declared July 28 as National Buffalo Soldier Day,” Spears said. “All four regimens served at Fort Concho.”

Fort Concho Site Manager Bob Bluthardt expanded on the context behind the term - Buffalo Soldier.

“Fort Concho was staffed 50% by Buffalo Soldiers,” Bluthardt said. “The term itself refers to any black enlisted personnel in the United States army between 1866 and the 1890s. The term is also has been used throughout the history of the segregated union of the army and the army desegregated under President Truman in 1948.”

A history some community members hope is researched a little more. Spears hopes to continue to unwrap the untold stories of the Buffalo Soldiers, which she said is needed in order to humanize their history.

“We want to find out other little things about people about other Buffalo Soldiers who lived in the community. Their lives, their families, what contributions they made, where did they live, and what all that they do. We want to humanize that while this was a job for them and their work as a military officer,” Spears said. “We want to humanize and get more information about who these men were and what their lives were really like.”

“It’s a major part of the fort’s legacy and it’s a major part of our city’s legacy,” Bluthardt said. “So it’s really happy birthday, Buffalo Soldiers.”

This year, organizers will be calling out names of those who have served the country. They will also invite attendees to add to this portion of the event.

The event will take place at Barracks One Visitor's Center and will start at approximately 5:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.

RELATED: Fort Concho hosts Buffalo Soldier 154th anniversary event