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The buffalo was a sacred animal to the Indian, and it is unlikely that he would so name an enemy if respect were lacking.It is a fair guess that the Negro trooper understood this and thus his willingness to accept the title." Over the years since Leckie offered this cautious explanation, we have moved to the point where many people regard the nickname "buffalo soldiers" as honorific, showing that the Indians considered the black troopers to be exceptional, perhaps the best soldiers that the army had.
Nineteenth Century African American soldiers who served in the Western United States have generally been known a “Buffalo Soldiers.” In this article, however, military historian Frank N. I found their history intriguing and important because they were pioneers in post-slavery America, the first black soldiers allowed to serve in the regular Army, staking their claims on citizenship by serving their country and doing so within a pervasively racist context that limited their occupational mobility, caused humiliation, and sometimes put them at personal risk.
Schubert, challenges modern popular perceptions of the soldiers, among them the significance of their name and the nature of their views of the native people against whom they fought. On and off for about forty years, I have been writing about the men and families of the black regiments that served in the U. While historians explored their contributions and lives, myths and misconceptions emerged and gained acceptance, covering a range of topics from the origin and significance of their widely recognized nickname—-“Buffalo Soldiers”--to the supposed empathy they shared with their Indian foes.
American Indian people fought to hold on to their traditions, their land, and their lives." These were not compatible, harmonious goals that could provide the basis for interracial harmony.
The idea that the buffalo-soldier combat record surpassed that of other units helps support the notion that the Indians might have been especially respectful of the black soldiers. These soldiers did participate in significant battles.
It refers to their fierce fighting abilities along with the woolly texture of their hair." Yet the fact remains that we lack proof that the name meant anything more than identification between brown skin and nappy hair on one side and brown fur on the other and no evidence has turned up that the soldiers themselves used the name to refer to themselves, not in black newspapers, not in pension files, not in letters, not anywhere.
The 10th Cavalry's crest prominently displayed a bison, but it was designed and adopted in 1911, so while it may reflect some memory of the name dating from the regiment’s early days, it does not necessarily indicate acceptance of the name by black soldiers of the Indian-war period.
They used the same dismissive epithets--”hostile tribes,” “naked savages,” and “redskins”—and the same racist caricatures employed by whites.
Reminiscent of the use among whites of "blackface" to denigrate and stereotype African-Americans, a black private named Robinson went to a masquerade ball at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, in 1894, dressed as "an idiotic Indian squaw," according to a published report by a fellow soldier.
He went from there to assert that the name might have reflected the Indians' respect for the soldiers because the buffalo was so important to their culture and they would not have made the comparison if it had not been respectful.
In a footnote, Leckie hedged his suppositions: "The origin of the term 'buffalo soldier' is uncertain, although the common explanation is that the Indian saw a similarity between the hair of the Negro soldier and that of the buffalo.