Saturday, June 20, 2009

James Harden Daugherty, Buffalo Soldier

On Friday, June 19, 2009, there was an evening discussion in Kefa Café with James Daughterty, longtime Silver Spring resident, former Buffalo Soldier, and author of The Buffalo Saga, newly published. The discussion was sponsored by a great local Silver Spring business, Silver Spring Books, and its owner Cynthia Parker.

James Harden Daugherty is a World War II Buffalo Soldier. His military awards include a Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement and a Combat Infantryman Badge for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy. Following his discharge from military service, he has had a distinguished career serving in administrative positions in the United States Public Health Service. He has had an appointed position in the state of Maryland, and an elected position in Montgomery County, Maryland, both in the field of education. He currently lives with his family in Montgomery County, Maryland.

He was nineteen years old when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during WWII. He is a Black American, so it means that he must fight for a country that regarded him as an individual with no rights in the U.S. that white American were bound to respect. He was one of the Buffalo Soldiers, who belong to the 92nd Infantry Division, an all-Black unit whose highest-ranking officials were white. They were assigned to northern Italy, where they fought against German and Italian troops. They served with great distinction from late 1944 until the end of the war, with many killed and wounded. But he and some of his fellow Buffalo soldiers survived the devastation of war. Despite the hardships and challenges of WWII, the experiences they had made them stronger when they came back to the country – a still segregated United States of America.

That is author James Harden Daugherty’s story – and he shares it all in THE BUFFALO SAGA.

In this true story of hope and change, Daugherty believes that this and other Buffalo Soldier stories will push towards the tearing of prejudice and discrimination. The Buffalo Saga is just one of the many gripping stories that portray the past’s role and influence in the present.

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