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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive


I spoke with Bennie before I decided to post this response; Bennie has been a dear friend and a mentor for years. I also spent several hours pouring back over the history of the responses to the Afrigeneas Military Forum, especially those that centered on the subject or history of the “Buffalo Soldier”. I wanted to get this response right. I knew Bennie would post a response, I checked the “reins” on mine. Perhaps his response would be all that was necessary, if I had to respond, it could quite possibly be in another way. After rising this morning and viewing the reply from Malin, I realized that I would not be that lucky. I then clicked on the name Malin to gain some insight to the person dictating a standard to a host of dedicated historians and researchers. I personally know Sharon and Anthony. As I stated before, Bennie has been a source of guidance for years, I do not know Lee or K Wyer, but I’ve studied their responses as well. I came to the conclusion, (albeit I had arrived at this conclusion prior to my conversation with Bennie, speaking with him reinforced the direction I would go with this response). The accusations you bring against several of the contributors to this forum are indeed as you say “ridiculous” and unfounded. Many of the names you dropped are excellent historians and researchers. It was these people that Bennie was speaking of when he said,

“We very seldom get challenged and what we have accomplished is extraordinary plus our research base is solid. For the record most scholars, other pseudo intellectuals and elitists avoid us”.

Bennie will tell you from the start that he is not an historian, he doe’s not have a PhD, and he is a researcher. Yet his website is nationally renowned and one of the finest sources of information on the African American Military Experience. His fundamental approach and high standard when it comes to research is not only reflective of the site itself, but is verified and validated by the countless emails that speak of appreciation and gratitude. The same methods of research and results can be applied to Anthony Powell and Sharon Heist. Anthony Powell has been on a one man crusade for decades to save and preserve the artifacts, memorabilia, records and documents of the African American Experience. His passion and relentless pursuit in this area has enabled him to amass a grand collection of the “footprint” of the Black Race. His website,, is a must see site for those wishing to gain insight and research into the African American Military Experience. Sharon is an aspiring historian whose thorough research in the area of the participation of Blacks in the military during the Civil War is bound to produce one of the finest works on the United States Colored Troops ever to be written. Much if not all of her research is depended on source documents that back up the secondary sources she examines in an effort to put the whole picture into perspective.

We are not the possessors of history, we hold no ownership, therefore we have no turf to defend because we are not in possession of it, and ergo we’ve no “bone to pick”. What you classify as “bantering back and forth and tic for tat”, is the invigorating discussion of the subject matter presented. History is controversial, and the discussion of it can be as well, given the different viewpoints and opinions. It comes with the territory. I also feel that the study of history should inspire and uplift the esteem of those with an eye on the future. I find the spirit of discussion and debate on this website healthy and without malice. The responses to the topics and questions in this forum come from a myriad of sources. Students, historians, lay historians and researchers, all the elements of families who may or may not have degrees in history or anthropology, or are students of genealogy for that matter. This forum allows them to challenge and give voice to the subject matter presented on this forum. Who are you to infer that anyone’s response is ridiculous? An examination of your information on this website reveals a person who goes by one name, with no clue or insight to what qualifies you to set a standard for anyone. I would indeed hope your comments do not discourage students of history who utilize this forum as a spring board to future study, debate and discussion on the subject of the African American Experience.

For your information, I have several “Coup Feathers on my academic “War Shield” as well as “Buffalo Skins” on my wall over my desk in my own little space my wife allows me. They are validations, “I know what I’ am talking about, because I have gone to the right schools, taken the right courses of study and graduated”. Maybe you are naive enough to think that, I am not. My father’s people are Apache, my mothers of African Descent, whose history can be traced back, beyond plantation life in Alexandria Louisiana. The “stories” they tell of “Old Times and generations” have more truth and fact then the contaminated stuff that drips from the pen and mouths of most of the so called certified historians and PhD’s Bennie spoke of in his response to you. I find your implication that the academic “sheep skin” from the “hollowed halls of academia” are the only source of true validation and confirmation, insulting, demeaning, and a slight of the hand to the efforts of individuals who do not have degrees, yet have habits of research and study that are disciplined and produce works that rival if not best the works of their contemporaries.

The dissemination of source material, documentation and references is available to anyone seeking further insight or clarification. I have never held back my sources. One needs only to ask. As for the publishing of my credentials, if you or anyone else wishes to obtain my services as a lecturer, speaker or presenter, I would be more than happy to provide them, so that you may publish them for your program brochures or flyers. If not, click on my name where it says posted by. I believe the information listed there is sufficient and for the purposes of this forum, “as good as it gets”.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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