Remembering the Buffalo Soldiers and Seattle’s connection with black soldiers

SEATTLE -- A wreath was recently laid at the feet of a statue at Evergreen-Washelli Cemetary.

The statue is called American Doughboy Brings Home Victory to honor the soldiers who fought in WW1. The wreath was laid by the Northwest Buffalo Soldiers Museum. But who were the Buffalo Soldiers?

The original Buffalo Soldiers were freed slaves who loved this country and earned the nickname in the late 1800s from Native Americans out of respect.

“Because they said ‘you men have a woolly bear like the buffalo, and a mane like the buffalo,’ they were also brave and courageous,” Jackie Jones-Hook with the museum explained.

Hundreds of African American soldiers fought and died alongside their white counterparts, and the statue signifies the sacrifice of those men.

“It is the greatest tribute to WW1, and these black soldiers did fight and die,” Jones-Hook said. “You have to think in WW1, in the battles, you see a lot of bloodshed - both black and white. It's how this country pays due to our military.”
African American soldiers first arrived in Seattle in the early 1900s.

Historians point out that Seattle wasn't a very diverse place at that time, so the influx of those soldiers and their families over the next 50 years changed the cultural makeup of Seattle.