Ryan Booth.

A new film about the African Americans who fought in the U.S. military in the late 1800s and early 1900s will feature expert commentary from Ryan Booth, an assistant professor of history at Washington State University.

“Both the Buffalo Soldiers and the Indian Scouts were created by an act of Congress in 1866 and essentially acted as the constabulary for the West up until the advent of World War I,” said Booth, whose research specifically focuses on the U.S. Indian Scouts. “The conundrum in all of this is why did Black and Native men take up arms to serve the country that had oppressed them for centuries?”

As Booth wrote in this 2021 piece for the Washington State Magazine, the 1800s must have seemed like living inside a tornado—everything upside down and nothing firm to hold onto.

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