'Buffalo Soldiers' Ride To Honor Black Veterans | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

'Buffalo Soldiers' Ride To Honor Black Veterans

Play associated audio
Members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club honor black veterans by riding through U Street northwest, and ending at the African American Civil War Memorial.
Jacob Fenston
Members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club honor black veterans by riding through U Street northwest, and ending at the African American Civil War Memorial.

The streets of the nation's capital are filled with motorcycles every Memorial Day weekend, as Vietnam veterans participate in the Rolling Thunder ride to honor fallen soldiers. But there's also a smaller group that rides each year, ending at the African American Civil War Memorial.

These are members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle club. About 1,500 rode in from around the country this year.

"We wanted to honor black heroes who have served our country," says Donald Thigpen, of the Buffalo Soldiers Maryland Chapter. The group is named after some of the first black regiments in the U.S. Army, dating back to the 1860s Wild West.

"They were fierce fighters just like the buffalo they hunted," he says. "And in some ways they may have looked like a buffalo with their beards."

The crowd gathered at the African American Civil War Memorial on U Street. Many there were veterans, like Joseph Hairston, who enlisted in 1940, fighting with segregated troops in World War II.

"The top brass were of the opinion that blacks wouldn't fight," he says. "I have ancestors who fought in every major war of this country."

This year's ride was the group's 10th anniversary.

NPR

Decades Later, Laurie Colwin's Books 'Will Not Let You Down'

A digital publisher has released a bounty of Colwin's books: four novels, three short-story collections and a collection of cooking essays. Colwin, who died in 1992 at age 48, had an "elusive magic."
NPR

For The Next Food Drive, Go For The Canned Tuna, Not The Saltines

If you're giving nonperishables to a food pantry this year, skip the sodium-packed soups and focus on nutrient-dense foods, hunger advocates say. Some of them may be cheaper, too.
NPR

Hagel Steps Down After Discord On Syria, Iraq

President Obama announced the defense secretary's resignation Monday morning. Chuck Hagel clashed with White House adviser Susan Rice on Syria policy, and he never made it into Obama's inner circle.
NPR

Action On Immigration Meets Silence, Skepticism In Silicon Valley

As an organized sector, the tech industry did not applaud President Obama's executive action on immigration; and the future of the joint campaign for a comprehensive bill is unclear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.