Alexandria, LA -- The Alexandria Museum of Art (AMOA) held an opening reception for their new exhibit, A Legacy of Honor and Valor, on Saturday, January 4. The month-long exhibition highlights the service of African American soldiers serving during WW2.
The exhibit is being presented in partnership with the Buffalo Soldiers Historical Society, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving, promoting, and perpetuating the history of African American military units.
While discussing the exhibit on Good Day Cenla, Joe Tillmon, the President and Founder of The Buffalo Soldiers Historical Society (BSHS), stated “Growing up in the 60s, there was not a lot about our history, heroes that look like us…once I joined the military I learned about the Buffalo soldiers and that there was more history out there that was not told.” He continued “this exhibit will focus on that history and highlight some of the heroes from that time frame.”
The exhibition features informational panels about the contributions made by African American men and women in all branches of service during the war. The exhibit also includes sections honoring soldiers from additional wars dating back to the Civil War.
Linda Rhodes, a member of the Alexandria chapter of Buffalo Soldiers, and Charles Ward worked together to bring the exhibit to the AMOA. Rhodes found the exhibit while exploring different ways to honor African American veterans in the area. “I talked to some retired soldiers and I told them ‘I’m going to bring you something to this area that you can be proud of’. It [the exhibit] is going to be honoring them too. It’ll honor both the past and the future.”
This exhibition is partnered with The Pelican State Goes to War: Louisiana in World War II, which is also on display at AMOA through February 2020. The exhibit is sponsored by Elisabeth Keller and Steve Bonsey.