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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: John P. Campbell~ Buffalo Soldier

In my opinion…

One of the wonderful things about this forum is it allows historians, researchers, lay persons, housewives , the student, or anyone with a love or interest in African American Military History the opportunity to share, discuss, dissect, learn and present the facts. We are truly blessed to have such a forum. A venue such as this has long been anticipated and needed. Valencia, (VKN) is doing a great job, and has the top man on her team, (Bennie McRae). The gratitude and appreciation for this forum can be seen in the tremendous response to the different subject matters put forward, and the content of these subject matters as well. This forum is exactly what is needed, and the place to satisfy that need.

Facts and myths are strange bed fellows who share the same sleeping place with issues and controversy. History itself is controversial, it can never be exact. History is the recollections of fallible individuals, who, if they were there could see it one way and write about in another. If they were not, then they are drawing off of the formers account, hear say or documents of the period that may or may not be more accurate. History is not precise, neither is the study of it. Much of the purpose of history is to present the facts so that the source reading, hearing or being told the account, can gain some insight into future conduct, either that of the source, or individuals receiving the history, or the subject of the history. History is the foot print of the universe and all it encompasses.

Now what individuals choose to do with, or how they respond to the wealth of informational input to this forum, is a product of the forum itself. Several responses over the last week and a half have spoken to, or dealt directly with the Buffalo Soldiers, fact verses myth. Some of the finest historians and researchers have recently debunked a lot of information or history surrounding the regiments that had been taken to be the “gospel” of the post Civil War Black regular. From some of the responses to these historians, one can see how entrenched we are in the quagmire of miss-information, myths and legends. It might even appear that myths and legends have more substance than the truth, and therefore are more beneficial to the individuals need for a higher plateau of self esteem. Myths are untruths, stories in some sectors, lies in another. Legends are more myth than fact, and legendary acts become bigger fish stories with each telling. The facts are truths that stick to the bone, and do indeed set one free.

Muhammed Ali, is a person I deeply admire, yet I would not hesitate to tell the truth as I see it. Yes, Muhammed Ali would not go to Vietnam to kill the so called Yellow Man for land the White Man had stolen from the Red Man. I believe Cassius Clay would have gone to Vietnam, had there been another, or not the influence he was introduced to. Muhammed Ali fought for and was indeed a spectacle for this same White Man. He made and spent millions of this same “Mans” money. He paid taxes to and lived in a grand house paid for by the dollars of this same White Man. He had no reservations about living in that house that sat on the land “the White Man stole from the Red Man”. He road in even grander limousines. I know, as a young impressionable student in Jr. high school who was a member of the local Jr. Black Panther party, I received an invitation to ride in one with him. I went from militant geek, to super militant chick magnet in one afternoon, on one day during the greatest semester of my life. Joe Louis is my choice. He never contradicted his character, or aborted his integrity. Perhaps an older and more mature Joe Louis understood that it was still about him, the Negro and his race.

On the face of it, during the era of the “Buffalo Soldier”, a Black Man had the option to join or not to, Ali did not have that option which is why he chose the road he did. Ironic isn’t it?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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