Buffalo Soldiers and the Spanish-American War – Presidio of San Francisco (U.S. National Park Service)

Everyone talks about Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders battling up San Juan Hill during the Spanish American War. The only reason that the Rough Riders were given such a disguised placed in history is the fact that Teddy Roosevelt went on to become President of the United States. A little acknowledged fact was that the Buffalo Soldiers overcame a renewal of Southern Good Old Boy discrimination and oppression when they were transferred to Florida prior to being shipped to Cuba to join the battle. This is in addition to the discrimination they faced in the military itself because of biased and negative perceptions of blacks. (Interestingly, some of these same biased perceptions of blacks continue to persist today over a hundred years later as demonstrated by the jobs/careers blacks are allowed in the military as well as in sports.



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