WHEN: Monday, June 29, 2009 4:15pm
WHERE: Buffalo Soldiers National Museum 1834 Southmore; Houston, TX 77004
WHO: Captain Paul Matthews, Founder, BSNM
Tracye McDaniel, Campaign Chair, BSNM Capital Campaign
Congressman Al Green
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
Congressman Pete Olson
The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum will launch its “Leave a Legacy…Buy a Brick” project to help fund the renovations of the historic Houston Light Guard Armory that will be the new home for the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. $4.1 million is the total cost to secure the future of this museum – the only one of its kind in the country that is solely dedicated to preserving the rich legacy and historic history of the African American soldier dating back to the inception of our nation.
Monday’s press conference will announce several prominent Houstonians who have purchased their bricks and encourage Houstonians to purchase their brick as well. This is an opportunity for the community to come together and say thank you in a tangible way for our African American soldiers, the Buffalo Soldiers, who have served so valiantly throughout the history of our great nation.
Many major Houston donors have joined together to help build this Buffalo Soldiers National Museum including the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation ($500,000), Houston Endowment ($500,000), Chevron ($250,000), The Brown Foundation ($100,000), Marathon Oil ($75,000), Wells Fargo Bank ($25,000); CenterPoint Energy ($25,000), The Strake Foundation ($10,000), Ray Fish Foundation ($10,000). And now it is time for the everyday citizens to take advantage of this opportunity to step forward and participate as well!
The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum (BSNM) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, founded in January 2001, by Vietnam veteran and African American military historian, Captain Paul J. Matthews. The vision of BSNM is to preserve, promote and perpetuate the history, tradition and outstanding contributions of the Buffalo Soldier. The BSNM is committed to building pride and patriotism in all Americans through the Buffalo Soldiers’ legacy.
The new technologically-designed facility for The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum is needed in order to display the full $6.5 Million collection of unique military history artifacts and art objects including the Anthony Powell collection ($4 million), the Captain PJ Matthews collection ($1 Million), and the balance of the individual items donated to the BSNM. It will also allow the expansion of outreach programs into the community to preserve the history of the Buffalo Soldier and provide an educational and community center for ongoing programs. With the purchase of your Legacy Brick, you will help build this much needed National Treasure.
Captain Paul J. Matthews, Founder & Chairman of the museum, has been researching military history and collecting military artifacts and memorabilia for over 30 years prior to his founding of the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. This is the only museum that chronicles the entire African American military experience from the Revolutionary War to the present day.
This is the single most important military preservation project in the State of Texas!” states Captain Paul J. Matthews, concerning saving the historic Houston Light Guard Armory using “green” building principles.
Who are the Buffalo Soldiers?
Since the colonial days, African Americans have proudly served in the military. During the Civil War, about 180,000 black soldiers served in the Union Army; more than 33,000 died. The Buffalo Solders were African-Americans of the U.S. Army’s 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments. In Texas, their contributions were especially significant during the Indian Wars of the late 1800s, when approximately 20 percent of the U.S. Cavalry involved was African American. It is speculated that these soldiers; curly hair resembled that of the American Indians’ sacred buffalo mane, while their bravery and tenaciousness reflected the buffalo’s spirit, hence inspiring the natives to call them “Buffalo Soldiers.” Over time, Buffalo Soldier became a general term for all African-American soldiers from 1866 to present.
The “Leave a Legacy…Buy a Brick” project will allow everyone to have a part in restoring and renovating this facility. An engraved brick will be placed in the outdoor Soldiers Plaza for those joining this project. Personalized Granite bricks are $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000; Personalized Crimson bricks are $500; and a standard Personalized Brick is $100. Donors may order as many bricks as they would like in order to leave a legacy for future generations. Such a legacy will be created in the name designated by the donor…their personal name, corporate name, in honor of a loved one, a veteran, etc…
Those interested in the “Leave a Legacy…Buy a Brick” project, or other naming rights to museum space, giving to honor a member of their family, contributing to the “Wall of Fame,” or helping the museum in its fund-raising efforts are encouraged to contact Cherri Washington, Executive Director, 713.942.8920. Tracye McDaniel, Executive Vice President and COO of the Greater Houston Partnership serve as the chair of the museum’s building capital campaign.
The current museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1834 Southmore Blvd., Houston, TX 77004. Please visit web site at: www.buffalosoldiermuseum.com.
To see images from this event please click here.