Statue Unveiled to Honor Buffalo Soldiers at West Point, New York

A member of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club signals the riders to prepare for the 11th Annual "Buddy Run"l, benefiting the SPARK Center at Boston Medical Center.
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The monumental statue is currently located at the U.S. Military Academy. And many think this honor is long overdue.

The United States' all-Black 9th and 10th Calvary, nicknamed the Buffalo Soldiers, are being honored with a new bronze statue located in West Point, New York.

The monumental statue is currently located at the U.S. Military Academy, according to the New York Times.

For decades, Buffalo soldiers served on the Western frontier following the American Civil War, History explains. “In 1866, six all-Black cavalry and infantry regiments were created after Congress passed the Army Organization Act.”

Their main tasks included teaching military horsemanship to white cadets, helping to control the Native Americans of the Plains, capturing cattle rustlers and thieves, and protect settlers and railroad crew.

And for many, this honor is long overdue.

“These men trained cadets who then went on to be leaders in the Army as commissioned officers. And yet they were never ever given their just due,” Command Sgt. Maj. Sa’eed Mustafa said. Mustafa’s great-uncle Sgt. Leon Tatum was a Buffalo Soldier, the New York Times adds.

Even though Buffalo Soldiers were vital to the United States and considered to be some of the Army’s top horsemen, they were still treated as less-than. They were forced to do menial tasks and also were housed in segregated barracks.

“It is one of those dichotomies that some of the best soldiers in our military were African American, and at the same time, Jim Crowism and ‘separate but equal’ existed,” Colonial Krewasky A. Salter said.

“They represented the hope, faith, resiliency and commitment to what African Americans could achieve.”

There are several theories as to how Buffalo Soldier got their nickname from the Native Americas, History said.

One is because the soldiers fought with such determination and courage, Indigenous people admired and respected them the same way they did buffalos. Another theory is that they got the nickname because “the soldiers’ dark, curly hair resembled the fur of a buffalo.”

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