Black Veteran Coalition joins forces with the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum

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By: Charles Blatcher, III
Chairman, National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations

 

Front Row: L to R
Willie Edley, National President, 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association
Bobby McDonald, Chair Orange County Veterans Advisory Council
Paul J. Matthews, Founder and Chairman, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
Charles Williams, Vice President, Greater Houston Chapter 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association
James Freeman, Executive Director, Texas Buffalo Soldiers Association and Alliance
Back Row: L to R
Samuel Johnson, President, Greater Houston Chapter 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association
Charles Blatcher, III, Chairman National Coalition of Black Veterans Organizations
David Whately, President Emeritus, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum

Oakland, CA…. On June 30th, 2017 I had the opportunity to visit the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, Texas. I was invited by the founder/President Captain Paul Matthews to meet and discuss our possible involvement with their traveling museum project.

The visit was an opportunity to view an outstanding collection and presentation on Black Military History. Brother Matthews and staff are to be commended for the outstanding contribution they are making in the preservation and presentation on the subject of Black Military History. We are pleased to welcome the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum as a new member of the Coalition.

The Museum have come abroad with a pledge of five thousand dollars to further our efforts to bring the collection of Black Military History photographs to America from the Imperial War Museum in London, England. Some of the collection has never been shown in the United States. The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum has offered their venue for the premier exhibition. We have accepted the invitation. The presentation will be a natural fit in the institution’s display.

Years ago, we cataloged the photographic content of the Imperial War Museum’s holdings on Black Military History. The research was done in anticipation of one day bringing the images home to America for display. We compiled an inventory manuscript containing copies of the photographs, legends and file numbers for order purposes. The inventory listing is of tremendous benefit in selecting graphic to embellish the institution’s existing gallery presentation.

The pledge from the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum is significant.

However, it is not enough to acquire the complete file. The files exceed one hundred and seventy-five photographs and legends.  The quality and size of the enlarged photographs needed is eighty dollars each. The cost does not include mounting, framing, shipping and printing the photograph legends. We need a minimum of seventy five thousand dollars to mount a first class presentation. We had originally estimated the augmentation of the exhibit would cost two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The estimate included acquiring uniforms, mannequins and other types of artifacts for the display. Our new partnership with the Buffalo Soldiers Museum provides the supporting artifacts at less the cost. The facility has uniforms and artifacts of the era already existing in their gallery presentation.

We need fourteen hundred contributors in the amount of fifty dollars each, added to the five thousand dollars pledged to bring the images home. The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum will be the repository for the collection.  Some of the images will be on display in the museum with others incorporated into the museum’s traveling exhibit now being planned. Arrangements are underway to transfer the Colonel Charles Young statue currently in Maysville, Kentucky to the Houston facility.

We are asking our Black Veteran Coalition Partners, other civic organizations and the general public to make a contribution toward the project. All contributors will be acknowledged in a donor’s log that will accompany the exhibition.  We would appreciate your assistance, in” Bringing Our History Home.”  Please see our GO Fund Me Page:  https://www.gofundme.com/help-us-bring-our-history-home

Or send a check or Money Order To: 

Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
3816 Caroline Street
Houston, Texas 77004
 
On the Check Memo line Write: “Bring Our History Home Exhibit”

 

 

Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
Houston, Texas