Juneteenth Exhibit in Pomona Commemorates the Legendary Buffalo Soldiers

An exhibit honoring The Buffalo Soldiers is coming to Pomona for a Juneteenth celebration. The Buffalo Soldiers were the first all-Black regiments of the U.S. Army who served from 1866-1951.

Juneteenth is a national holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. The Buffalo Soldiers exhibit will be on display June 18th, starting at 11:00 a.m., at the African American Museum of Beginnings in Pomona.

Donna Jackson-Houston, Chair of the Pomona Community Life Commission, organized a tribute to Buffalo Soldiers in January of this year, after discovering that her grandfather, Lucius Franklin Monroe Jackson, was a Buffalo Soldier in the 25th Infantry of the U.S. Army stationed at Camp Little, AZ. 

“My family and I only recently discovered this historic fact. Last year I read an article that my grandfather had come to Nogales in 1918 as a Buffalo Soldier to secure and patrol the U.S. border. I had never heard that my grandfather was a member of the legendary Buffalo Soldiers. With this newfound discovery, I thought it was vital to recognize not only my grandfather but also the other Black soldiers who fought for our country,” said Commissioner Jackson-Houston. 

 The Inaugural Tribute to the Nogales Buffalo Soldiers was held in Arizona to kick-off Black History Month.  Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino provided a Proclamation declaring January 28-30 annually as Buffalo Soldier Days, honoring the 25th Infantry and 10th Cavalry regiments stationed at Camp Little.

The Buffalo Soldiers paved the way for future generations of African American men and women to join and be successful in the military. The exhibit will also showcase descendants of the Nogales Buffalo Soldiers in other branches of the Black Military, including the Tuskegee Airmen, African Americans in the U.S. Air Force and the 6888 Central Postal Directory, the only all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps. who served patriotically during WWII.  

“I greatly appreciate the support of Mayor Sandoval and Council, Pomona Unified School District and so many other community leaders and organizations involved in making this event a success,” said Jackson-Houston.  

“The exhibit is another family-friendly moment in the City of Pomona that the African American Museum of Beginnings (AAMB) will showcase to shed light on the valuable history of the Buffalo Soldiers, ” President Jeanette Ellis Royston, NAACP Pomona Valley Branch.

The exhibit features a display of historical photos and stories documenting the lives of the soldiers and their families and the significant contribution they brought to their communities and the nation. “It is such an honor to share our proud ancestry and the patriotism these brave men and women contributed to American history,” said Jackson-Houston.  

The Nogales Buffalo Soldiers Legacy Association is partnering with the AAMB to bring this historical exhibit to Pomona.  “We are honored to be chosen to curate the Buffalo Soldier exhibit this Juneteenth, Khalif Rasshan, curator of the AAMB.”

“As the exhibit tours, my vision is to include stories about Buffalo Soldiers and their families in communities throughout Los Angeles, California and the nation. In sharing my family’s story, I have connected with many others who have also discovered that their family has one or more Buffalo soldiers in their ancestry. It is vital to know one’s history and to share our stories.”   

The free event will include guest speakers and entertainment. It’s an educational event for the entire family. Descendants of the Buffalo Soldiers will be available to answer questions and share their stories.

Commissioner Jackson-Houston is the Founder and President of the Nogales Buffalo Soldiers Legacy Association. The mission of the association is to partner with schools and communities across the nation to educate, inform and highlight the notable accomplishments of the Buffalo Soldiers who served patriotically while subjected to oppressive and discriminatory conditions.   If you are a Buffalo Soldier descendant or would like additional information about the organization, contact Donna Jackson-Houston at  www.NogalesBuffalosoldiers.org