Imagine Our Story Destinations: Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Monument

This summer, we invite you to discover and visit the various locations on our tracker to learn more about culturally and historically significant places and landmarks in our region.

The next time you are visiting the Quincie Douglas Library, stop by the new Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Monument. Ward 5 Council Member Richard Fimbres, the Greater Southern Arizona Area Chapter (GSAAC) of the Buffalo Soldiers began working on this memorial project in 2015. The memorial is the only voter-approved Buffalo Soldier monument in the nation. Most Tucsonans do not know the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and the contributions they made in the defense of our country. (1)

The memorial is located across the parking lot from the library at the Quincie Douglas Neighborhood Center. Did you know the neighborhood surrounding the center and the library is one of the oldest historically Black neighborhoods in Tucson? The Buffalo Soldiers Monument is located in the South Park neighborhood. South Park is one of Tucson’s five historic Black neighborhoods. (2)

The Tucson Buffalo Soldier Memorial Project highlights the significant contributions made by Black Americans in the formation of Tucson, Arizona, and the United States of America. Buffalo Soldiers tirelessly defended our nation despite racism and prejudice directed towards them. Buffalo Soldiers served as park rangers, police officers, postmen and armed forces servicemen. They fought in conflicts like the Spanish-American War. They protected settlers, Native American reservations, and guarded stage coach stations. They constructed roads, telegraph lines, and maintained law and order along the U.S.-Mexican Border. (2)

When you visit the Buffalo Soldier Memorial, look for the names of three Arizona Buffalo Soldiers awarded with Medals of Honor for their service: Sergeant Benjamin Brown, Corporal Isiah Mays, and Sergeant Major William McBryar. You can also read about the history of the Soldiers located on plaques placed on the memorial. (2)

Sit in the shaded plaza and think about the contributions of these brave soldiers. Think about what it must have been like to ride on horseback through the desert, mountains and plains.


References:

  1. New memorial plaza in Tucson chronicles Buffalo Soldiers history
  2. Their Stories – Our History: Buffalo Soldiers Background – Six Regimental Units Activated   

Find out more about what's happening at the Library this summer.