Huachuca Illustrated, vol 1, 1993:

chuca Illustrat

chuca Illustrat

U.S. Army Lifestyles at Huchuca in the 1920s:

chuca Illustrat


Out of New York City a unique literary movement was gathering momentum. Black poets, playwrights, and novelists migrated to that traditional center of American art and the Harlem Renaissance was born. Men like Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, and jean Toomer wrote with feeling about the injustices suffered by the black man. Their poems of social protest even reached some of the white liberal community.

Langston Hughes

That their writings reached the men of the 10th Cavalry in the mountains of southern Arizona we can be certain. Thanks to Chap. Louis Carter, books and magazines that advocated racial pride and black studies were introduced into the Fort Huachuca library, including The Crisis, the official journal of the NAACP edited by W. E. B. DuBois. In 1922 thirteen of the poems of Langston Hughes appeared in that journal. Readers on the post library could experience examples of Hughes' verse such as:

I am a Negro:
---Black as the night is black,
---Black like the depths of my Africa.

I've been a slave:
---Caesar told me to keep
---his door-steps clean.
---I brushed the boots of Washington.

I've been a worker:
---Under my hand the pyramids rose.
---I made mortar for the Woolworth

I've been a singer:
---All the way from Africa to Georgia
---I carried my sorrow songs.
---I made ragtime.

I've been a victim:
---The Belgians cut off my hands in the Congo.
---They lynch me now in Texas.

I am a Negro:
---Black as the night is black,
---Black like the depths of my Africa.(64)

For a year, from May 5, 1920 to May 12, 1921, the 10th Cavalry published its own news sheet. Called The Buffalo Bulletin it was edited by Maj. E. W. N. Glass, who is now better known for writing the history of the regiment. Distributed to as many as 1,200 at its peak, the paper ran historical accounts of the regiment as well as the day-to-day offerings in the way of entertainment and sports at Fort Huachuca. The editor called it the mouthpiece of the regiment and said that it was intended to "let the world know ... what we are accomplishing in this out-of-the-world corner known as Fort Huachuca." It was discontinued when it was discovered to be in violation of government printing regulations which prohibited paid advertising, a necessity if the regiment was to cover the costs of printing.

In almost 20 years, Britain's leader Winston Churchill would be reading to the English people a poem by black American writer Claude McKay:

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die, O let us noble die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though
O Kinsmen! We must meet the common
Though far outnumbered let us show us
And for their thousand blows deal one
--death blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous,
--cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting

Churchill was using McKay's lines to arouse the British for the desperate fight against Nazi Germany. McKay had written the poem in response to the Harlem race riots of 1919.


64 Hughes, Langston, Selected Poems, Vintage, 1974, 8.

65 Ellman, Richard, and O'Clair, Robert, eds., Modern Poems, W.W. Norton & Co., NY, 1976,202.

25. Indian Scouts at Huachuca in the 1920s and 1930s

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25. Indian Scouts at Huachuca in the 1920s and 1930s

Table of Contents