In commemoration of Philippine Solidarity Week and Black History month — Fil-Am activists in the San Francisco Bay Area recently discussed how the African-American buffalo soldiers fought along-side Filipino revolutionaries during the Philippine-American War.
It’s the lesser-known story of the buffalo soldiers — brave African American fighters who were sent to fight the Filipinos, but instead joined them.
Fenua Sanak Frazer Ibabao has been able to trace back family ties to these buffalo soldiers — thanks to his own research combined with that of his parents.
One of his ancestors married a buffalo soldier at the turn of the century.
“Coming from a black buffalo soldier heritage and then being conjoined with the Filipino colonialism, or whatever that looks like, I think it’s important we remember what we remember and that we bring that forward especially if it’s not being remembered on the mainland or popular culture.”
The event also tied in what these activists are calling the continuing spread of US imperialism in the Philippines — through the millions of dollars the Philippines receives from the US to fight President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war and further oppression of indigenous people.