HISTORY OF THE ORIGINAL BUFFALO SOLDIERS
Buffalo Soldiers participated in many military campaigns: The Spanish American War, The Philippine Insurrection, The Mexican Expedition, World War I, World War II, and the Korean Police Action.
Much has changed since the days of the Buffalo Soldiers, including the integration of all military servicemen and women. However, the stories of the Buffalo Soldiers remain one of unsurpassed courage and patriotism, and will be forever a significant part of the history of America.
African-Americans have fought with distinction in all of this country's military engagements. However, some of their most notable contributions and sacrifices came during the Civil War. During that conflict, more than 180,000 African-Americans wore the Union Army blue.
Another 30,000 served in the Navy, and 200,000 served as workers on labor, engineering, hospital and other military support projects. More than 33,000 of these gallant soldiers gave their lives for the sake of freedom and their country.
Shortly after the Civil War, Congress authorized the formation of the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st Infantry Regiments: Six all-Black peacetime units. Later the four infantry regiments were merged into the 24th and 25th Infantries.
At least 18 Medals of Honor were presented to Buffalo Soldiers during the Western Campaigns. Similarly, 23 African-Americans received the nation's highest military award during the Civil War. African-Americans have fought in military conflicts since colonial days.
However, the Buffalo Soldiers--comprised of former slaves, free men and Black Civil War soldiers--were the first to serve during peacetime. Once the Westward movement had begun, prominent among those blazing treacherous trails of the Wild West were the Buffalo Soldiers of the U.S. Army.
These African-Americans were charged with and responsible for escorting settlers, cattle herds, and railroad crews. The 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments also conducted campaigns against American Indian tribes on a western frontier that extended from Montana in the Northwest to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in the Southwest.
Throughout the era of the Indian Wars, approximately twenty percent of the U.S. Cavalry troopers were Black, and they fought in over 177 engagements. The combat prowess, bravery, tenaciousness, and looks on the battlefield, inspired the Indians to call them "Buffalo Soldiers."
Many Indians believe the name symbolized the Native American's respect for the Buffalo Soldiers' bravery and valor. Buffalo Soldiers, down through the years, have worn the name with pride.
HISTORY OF THE BUFFALO SOLDIERS AND TROOPERS MOTORCYCLE CLUB
The history of the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers & Troopers Motorcycle Clubs (NABSTMC) began with a dream; in this case, the dream of Ken 'Dream Maker' Thomas.
Believing that it was time to establish a modern progressive motorcycle club whose focus was to promote a positive image among African Americans that would be respected in the community and throughout the country, Thomas founded the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Chicago in October 1993. The name Buffalo Soldiers was initially selected to pay homage to and ensure the legacy of African American military contributions in the post Civil War era. Under the leadership of Ken Thomas, the new club was chartered as the Buffalo Troopers Motorcycle Club of Chicago.
Membership in the club grew to a total of ninety-two (92) during that first year, making it the largest African American motorcycle club in Chicago, IL. The clubhouse was located at 8510 South Ashland Avenue. The clubhouse displayed many items dedicated to the history and memory of the Buffalo Soldiers such as pictures, books, statues, and an authentic buffalo head donated by member Ernie Daurham. In 1996, the club moved from this location to its current location at 13836 South Indiana Avenue, in Riverdale, Illinois. The club's popularity grew as members attended the national roundups and rallies held in various cities in the country. This popularity transformed into interest of other clubs in affiliation with the Buffalo Troopers M/C of Chicago, Illinois.
Then, Brian Bulow, a former President of the Maryland Chapter, and now a former Vice President of the NABSTMC saw the Chicago Buffalo Troopers at the Atlanta Roundup and displayed an interest in starting a chapter. That interest resulted in the first chapter to wear the "patch" outside of Chicago, Illinois. Soon afterwards, others showed an interest and started chapters, the next five being Florida, Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey and California. In 1999, the clubs collectively formed the NABSTMC which currently consists of over one hundred chapters throughout the United States. All the chapters of the association voted in Ken "Dreammaker" Thomas President and founder. All the members wear the patch that was originally designed by the Chicago, Illinois chapter and subscribe to the NABSTMC rules, regulations, and by-laws.
The NABSTMC is now an active participant in numerous charitable functions including supporting senior citizen homes, student scholarships and food and fund drives for charitable organizations, i.e. The March of Dimes and Toys for Tots. The NABSTMC has also taken the responsibility of mentors to area youth and educational programs, which share enlightenment of the heritage that African-Americans have played in the United States. We are also actively involved in recognizing the accomplishments and sacrifices of the Tuskegee Airmen. NABSTMC encourage a positive image and behavior of our members and affiliates. We believe that we are role models and share a responsibility and a positive value system to our respective communities. The member chapters do not discriminate against race, religion, gender or ethnic origin. The majority of our organization is comprised of minority members who accept those who share our values and support our cause.