AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive
Re: BUFFALO SOLDIERS ON THE WESTERN FRONTIER
In Response To: Re: BUFFALO SOLDIERS ON THE WESTERN FRONTIER ()
Some good points, and ones that several of us have been trying to make....like the old Clara Peller commercials "where's the beef?" I have frequently lamented the tendency of some scholars to rely on second hand sources-and thereby perpetuate errors. It is one of the most compelling reasons behind my own current research on the USCT-and one that will follow on the transition into the regular army. I am finding too many wrong names, dates, places-by supposedly reputable authors. Tony Dorty and Bennie McCrae have both read parts of my work in progress-as well as others, and I ask always for critical comments and suggestions. Believe me, if I make a quote, I can give you the primary source.
I didn't start out to do this-my areas of research are SW Native History, Ojibwe history and culture, Black colonial-to mid-nineteenth century Black presence in New England,geneology of that Black presence, the Underground Railroad in New England, antique American furniture, folk music and ballads.....the list goes on. Bennie McCrae is directly at the root of my current studies-by having the temerity a couple of years ago, to ask me a geneological question-which led to coming across facts that made no sense to me- (like all of the soldiers that were dying AFTER Appomatox )so of course my nosy nature took hold, and here I am, struggling to sort the truth from all the myth. I am not a military historian in the strictest sense of the word. I am a PEOPLE historian. My goals are the words and the experiences of those who were there. The only people who can portray those experiencs were the ones who lived them. I am but the scribe. One of the reasons I have to work so hard at this is just because I am non-military. It HAS to be accurate-and people like Bennie and Tony and Anthony help me keep it that way.
Credentials?? Mixed blood Ojibwe. Raised mostly on the Navajo Reservation. Have worked and lived a thousand experiences-from rodeo to reporter/photographer,drummer and singer, translator to nurse before I finally got a "formal" college education. I have three degrees, including a BA with Honors in Anthropology, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College and work on the Doctorate at NAU. I have been a consultant on numerous tribal legal issues, and given lectures at Smith, Amherst, Hampshire College,Tuskegee,Dartmouth, Navajo Community College, Greenfield Community College,SSM Com. College, numerous Museums, schools, historical societies and civic groups. My book on the Navajo Political Crisis of 1989 is undergoing editing for publication, but keeps getting pushed back because of my current research. I have been asked to co-author a book on the Navajo Codetalkers-many of whom I have known all my life. I wrote a series of bi-lingual children's books for Navajo Reservation (BIA) schools that were in use by a number of schools-but were never commercially published. I translated children's songs into Navajo, and they were used in bilingual classrooms. (In those days, it was the good old mimeo machine)(I had actually forgotten about the songs until reminded by a Navajo patient, who was explaining to another nurse that she had known me since she was a child-and started singing one of them.)
so, while the CV is certainly not NEARLY as impressive as that of Anthony Powell (I think he actually gave you a very LIGHT listing. I personally know of several other pieces of his writing and research, and he has impressed me for a long time.) Remember that for some of us-we have learned the REAL hard way-and trial and trauma in one arena can give empathy for other areas. Certainly Tony Dorty's military experience as a Ranger color his views of military history. My deep knowledge and experience of Native-white relations, prejudice and injustice makes me look at the Black military of the Civil War and after from that view. I KNOW how the government works. I KNOW how the systems are manipulated....and I know first hand and up front close and personal how it feels to be judged by stereotypes and prejudice..and I know some of the "pretenders",(Black, White and Native-American) who speak loudly and produce no proof. This isn't unique to Black History. I personally know of a NUMBER of Native Americans who make their living by spouting psuedo-indian myths, remedies and history to gullible yuppies-a white, self-proclaimed expert on the Buffalo Soldiers, who has gotten herself named as the "Official spokesmen on the Buffalo Soldiers-for the NAACP" -and who has been denied speaking time at local reenactments and historical groups because of her LACK of knowledge, and some Black Buffalo Soldier re-enactors who barely know which end of the horse gets bridled. (I guess under the theory that if you speak loud enough, and often enough, people will believe you are as knowledgeable as you say you are)..which is why I do what I do-get the TRUTH out-well documented, with all the i's dotted and t's crossed.
Messages In This Thread