A park ranger embodies the hidden history of Yosemite's Buffalo Soldiers | KALW

A park ranger embodies the hidden history of Yosemite's Buffalo Soldiers

Aug 30, 2016

Shelton Johnson brings the hidden history of Blacks in the American West to life through a storytelling project at Yosemite National Park. In his performance, he channels that past, and transforms into the fictional role of Buffalo Soldier Elizy Bowman. And, as a note for our listeners, this story contains some racially-charged language.

To listen to the story click the audio player above.

SHELTON JOHNSON: When I first started telling the story most people had never heard it, and when you tell a story no one has heard before, the initial reaction is disbelief, and sometimes people can feel that it's not true, or an out and out lie.

Shelton Johnson is also the author of Gloryland, a novel about life through the eyes of a Buffalo Soldier. 

For more information on Yosemite National Park's Buffalo Soldier educational program click here.

And to see a video featuring Shelton Johnson's performance click here.