"...No chains around my feet, but I'm not free..."

~ Bob Marley - Concrete Jungle Babylon By Bus (1978)



 "Buffalo Soldier"*  Constructed Response Activity


"...Just once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, U.S.; let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship..."

                                                  ~ Frederick Douglas

1. What was a "Buffalo Soldier" and how did they get their name?

2. What is Douglas encouraging African Americans to do in the above passage? What does he believe they will gain by this action?

3. Read the lyrics to Bob Marley's song Buffalo Soldier. What are the singer's feelings regarding African Americans serving in the U.S army? What lines in the song reveal this information? Do the singer and Douglas share the same view or attitude? Explain.

4. In the U.S. governments campaign to pacify the West,  African American regiments were used to battle and subdue various Native American peoples. This is an example of (  a. imagery, b. allusion, c. irony, d. metaphor  ) Explain your answer.

5. Cause and Effect:

a) Identify and discuss two reasons for the Emancipation Proclamation.

b) Identify and discuss two consequences of the Emancipation Proclamation.

* "In July1866, Congress passed legislation establishing two cavalry and four infantry whose enlisted composition was to be made up of African-Americans. The majority of the new recruits had served in all Black units during the war. They were called Buffalo Soldiers out of respect from the Native Americans. They were called this because of their fierce fighting style, the color of their skin, and mainly because of the way their hair looked. It was curly, thick, and matted, just like that of a buffalo's hair."

Source:  Mullin, Matthew. "Buffalo Soldier-Dreadlock Rasta?" The Dread Library. - Debate Central

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