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ani, glitter

He Rode in the Grand Floral Parade as President of the Buffalo Soldiers

The Buffalo Soldiers Moses Williams Chapter was one of those entries that African Americans and veterans looked to as their own. In 2005, there was a big to-do when the Rose Festival Association denied our entry because of what they called 'saftey concerns' from our last appearance (in 2003).

Thanks to media coverage and a lot of upset veterans and black folks, the association worked it out with us less than three days before the parade. It was somewhat tense, even on the day of the parade. They were watching us, big time. I pulled one of our three horses, because he was a little excited. I went on foot along side them.

The people in the crowd were just great. I saw more black folks than I've ever seen. Some of them said, "We don't come to the Rose Festival, but because of you I'm here."

Bruce Broussard in his Buffalo Soldier uniform
Bruce Broussard in his Buffalo Soldier uniform

I saw black folks in the crowd with their kids -- you should have seen their eyes, they were so big. It was the horses and the uniforms.

Some older vets shook my hand and said, "God bless you, young man."

~Bruce Broussard, 68 (President of the Buffalo Soldiers)