Henry Ossian Flipper
A questionable court-martial ended Henry Ossian Flipper's military career in 1882—he'd be pardoned more than a century later—but it scarcely stained his place in American history. Born into slavery, Flipper rose to become the first African-American to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He took charge of the 10th Cavalry Regiment, known as the Buffalo Soldiers, making him the first black officer to command regular Army troops.
In the latest installment of the Library's Meet the Past series, Director Crosby Kemper III conducts a public conversation with Flipper as portrayed by Damron Russel Armstrong, executive artistic director of the Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City. The event coincides with the 151st reunion of the National Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association, July 24-29 in Kansas City, and will be filmed by KCPT-TV for later broadcast.
Major funding for this episode of Meet the Past is provided by the Courtney S. Turner Charitable Trust—John H. Mize and Bank of America, N.A., Co-Trustees.