SAN ANGELO, Texas – Black History Month capped off in San Angelo observing Buffalo Soldier Heritage Day at Fort Concho. The celebration lasted from 2 to 3:30 Sunday afternoon and nearly 100 attended the site under coronavirus safety guidelines. There were two guest speakers, including retired curator Henry Crawford.
“The talk was about the Buffalo Soldiers in the army on the western frontier,” Crawford stated. “They served right here at Fort Concho among other places, but Fort Concho was a very important part of the Buffalo Soldier history and the history of the black military on the western frontier.”
The event took place at the Fort Concho stables which is where the soldiers kept their horses. Crawford says being able to dress in the uniform of a Buffalo Soldier from the 1870s is a special significance. This can tell their stories in many different angles.
“I love it, it’s something that I’ve done for years and years,” Crawford said. “You get a special feeling of being part of not just depicting an interpreting history, but actually being part of it. Nothing is better than doing living history.”
When it comes to learning the key aspects about history, it’s all about understanding from the perspective of the time and place where it has occurred. Crawford says a lot of times people tend to try to project their own present day experiences and sensibilities into history, and that doesn’t work.
“You have to take history on its own terms,” Crawford expressed. “You have to understand that these people lived at a different place and lived at a different time and you can’t judge them by what your experience is. You can only judge them by what their experience is and that’s extremely important to remember.”
The Fort worked in partnership with the local chapter of the NAACP to put together the free celebration and presentation.