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Arts & Culture

San Antonio Motorcycle Club Celebrates Buffalo Soldiers Day

Motorcycle club members listen to speaker inside brewery..jpg
Brian Kirkpatrick
/
Texas Public Radio
Motorcycle club members listen to speaker inside brewery

The local chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club on Wednesday rode up to a Leon Valley brewing company to toast National Buffalo Soldiers Day.

Members of the club hit the road to educate various groups about the African American army units created in 1866 by Congress to settle the West and protect its settlers.

"We go out, we teach, we also provide help with community projects, whether its the food bank, whether its Salvation Army, whether it's veterans-type organizations," said club president Jared McClinton.

He said many of their members are veterans, but the club is open to others. The members wear distinctive black and gold jackets and take many road trips as a group.

National Buffalo Soldiers Day is commemorated on July 28 and was passed by Congress and signed into law in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush.

According to the Handbook of Texas, the Plains Indians gave the name Buffalo Soldiers to regiments of African Americans and in particular to two cavalry regiments that served on the frontier in the post-Civil War Army, the Ninth and Tenth Calvary.

Lem Chance, left, and Lahue Bishop, were among the members from the biker group to turnout for National Buffalo Soldiers Day.jpg
Brian Kirkpatrick
Lem Chance, left, and Lahue Bishop, were among the members from the biker group to turnout for National Buffalo Soldiers Day

The Buffalo Soldiers served at posts in Texas, the Southwest and Great Plains.

They overcame prejudice within the Army and the frontier towns they were stationed in.

Several earned Medals of Honor during the Indian and Spanish-American War.

Local Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club member John Perdue said the Buffalo Soldiers were just one of several African American military units, like the 761st Tank Battalion of World War II, which served the nation and should be honored and remembered too.

"There's a multitude of African American units that helped secure our American freedoms," he said.

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