Runtime: 1hour 1minute
Director: Dru Holley
Producer: Dru Holley, Debra Simon
Writer: Dan Evans, Dru Holley, Barbara Multer-Wellin
Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts
BUFFALO SOLDIERS: FIGHTING ON TWO FRONTS, explores the often-contradictory role played by Black soldiers throughout American history, with particular emphasis on the settling of the American West and colonialism abroad.
Established by Congress in 1868, the 14th Amendment promised citizenship in exchange for military enlistment, prompting many African American men to do so. But they were denied this right due to Jim Crow laws established during the Reconstruction Era. In spite of this, the men helped lead the expansion of the U.S. westward; they built and guarded the Pacific Railroad, and served as park rangers in places like Yosemite before the government’s establishment of the National Park Service.
The soldiers fought bravely in the Indian Wars, the Philippine-American War, the Mexican Punitive Expedition, and World Wars I & II. Buffalo Soldiers, in particular, participated in the subjugation of Native peoples as the U.S. appropriated tribal land, the persecution of striking silver miners in Idaho, and went up against Filipinos fighting for independence during the Spanish-American War, resulting in a complicated legacy.
The film is distributed through PBS and World Channel’s “Local, USA” series. It will also be available to stream on the PBS app, WorldChannel.org, YouTube and on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel.
“With Poignant understanding,…tells a vital story essential to understanding a long history of racial discrimination throughout the United States.” ~ Film Threat
“Provides a unique narrative to a part of our history that has been overlooked and overshadowed. The film I steeped in history, yet it’s timely.” ~ Seattle Medium