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Honoring the living legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers at Negro Bar - California State Parks
by Khubaka, Michael Harris (Blackagriculture [at] yahoo.com)
Tuesday Aug 14th, 2018 12:22 PM
Commanding Maj. General Sean B. MacFarland said, “No other group of American Soldiers sacrificed so much and yet received so little respect in return.”
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(Sacramento) ~ Throughout the Great State of California there is groundswell of new energy to expand utilization, showcase inclusion and celebrate diversity within our City Parks, Regional Parks, California State Parks and within the National Parks Service.

From Camp Lockett in San Diego County, Lincoln Heights in Siskiyou County, National Cemetery in the San Francisco Presidio to Negro Bar, Folsom Lake Recreational Area, our celebration will honor the 152nd Anniversary of the Buffalo Soldiers, highlighting world class leadership commanding the first Park Rangers in Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

On September 21, 1866, the 9th Cavalry Regiment were activated in Greenville, Louisiana and the 10th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. “These American fighting men valiantly and selflessly served our great nation,” Commanding Maj. General Sean B. MacFarland said, “No other group of American Soldiers sacrificed so much and yet received so little respect in return.”

They did so despite encountering systemic institutional racism from the very people they were charged with protecting.

Just yesterday, the California State Senate voted to approve Assembly Concurrent Resolution 142, establishing the Colonel Charles Young Memorial Highway in Tulare County, near the entrance to Sequoia National Park. This recognition will bring greater attention to the Buffalo Soldiers and Colonel Charles Young distinguished service within California and the world.

Colonel Charles Young was born enslaved, March 12, 1864, in Mays Lick, Kentucky and died January 8, 1922, in Lagos, Nigeria while serving as highest ranking Black Officer in the US Army.

In 1889, having graduated from West Point with a commission as a second lieutenant, the third African American to do so, he served with the Ninth U.S. Cavalry Regiment for 28 years protecting settlers and pioneers in the westward expansion of the United States. He later served as a professor for four years at Wilberforce College, Ohio, a private coed college affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he helped establish the military science department.

When the Spanish-American War broke out, he answered the call and served with distinction. After the war he was assigned duty at the SF Presidio and was appointed Superintendent, commanding regiments of some of the first Park Rangers at Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.

The Buffalo Soldiers moniker was bestowed upon the plains Native Americans as a sign of respect for their fierceness and appearance. Today, the Buffalo is still sacred throughout Indian Country. Together, we share and convey mutual respect and importance of the Buffalo Soldier name.

Maj. Gen. Sean B. McFarland sums it up best… “The annals of American military history are full of their heroic deeds and accomplishments. Even though they endured many hardships, they rose above that to serve their country with honor, with pride and with glory.”