Buffalo Soldiers Get Congressional Recognition

“Each Spring  these sons of slaves hiked hundreds of miles from San Francisco and Monterey to Sequoya, Yosemite and Kings Canyon serving in effect as our country’s first park rangers.” — Jackie Spier
This morning, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (San Francisco/San Mateo County) testified before a Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee.  Speier’s bill, H.R. 4491, authorizes the National Park Service to study the role the African American regiments played in establishing the National Park System and to honor their legacy.”
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to begin to tell the world of the momentous contribution the Buffalo Soldiers have made to our country,” said Congresswoman Speier.   “It is fitting, during Black History Month, that we take the first steps towards the rightful recognition of these soldiers.   They were truly the first guardians of our National Parks, blazing the trails, building the roads and protecting the lands for visitors – they helped make the vision for our National Parks a reality.”
Also testifying before the Subcommittee is Stephen E. Whitesell, Associate Director, Park Planning, Facilities, and Lands for the National Park Service and Geneva Brett, Vice President, Los Banos Buffalo Soldiers Association from Los Banos, California.
Great news for the descendants and educators of the Buffalo Soldiers, such as Yosemite Ranger Shelton Johnson, who may now get an opportunity to honor the historical contribution of these unsung heroes with federal support.

Outdoor Afro Talk Tuesdays -The Buffalo Soldier and Yosemite

Today’s fabulous show featured African American Park Ranger Shelton Johnson.

Photo courtesy of Dudley Edmondson from his Book Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places