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An Interview With Albert O. Bly
Not available online
TitleAn Interview With Albert O. Bly
AbstractInterviewer: Edward Scott. Interview recorded December 2, 1975. 2 sound cassettes (ca. 60 minutes): analog, stereo.; 5 7/8 x 2 1/2 in., 1/8 in. tape; 2 sound discs; digitial; 4 3/4 in. Has printed guide to contents.
NotesListed in the military category. Lt. Albert O. Bly was born in Chicago in January of 1917. In the interview he discusses his early life and African Americans in the U.S. military.
Date1975-12-02
SourceKansas City Public Library; Black Archives of Mid-America, Inc.
LocationSC69-2, Tape 5, CD 5 (2 parts)
Local SubjectBly, Albert O.
Buffalo Soldiers
African Americans
Military
Soldiers
Oral History
Item TypeArchival Material
TranscriptionExtract of Taped Interview:

Lt. Bly's home located at 2602 Agnes, Kansas City, Missouri. Lt. Bly was born in Chicago, January, 1917. He has one brother and sister. Conditions were very bad at the time of his birth. His father was a soldier and his mother was a housewife. His mother was from Kansas and his father was from Alabama. His grandfather was half Indian and his grandmother was full blooded Indian. His grandfather was a U.S. Deputy Marshal. His father became a soldier because there was very little opportunity for a Black man other than a service carrier.

He came to the Kansas City area soon after he was born and went to Ft. Leavenworth where he was raised after World War I with his father. He says conditions were not the best for Black soldiers. He describes different schools of the Military Service units for Black soldiers. They trained horses and had great recreation, however, he says. On May 9, 1945 he joined Leavenworth Troop, 10th Calvary. Facilities were separate but equal. Living conditions were very good compared to civilian life.The Army was integrated in 1949 and 1950 during Truman Administration.

To go back to the beginning of the regular Black units, according to Bly, July 28, 1866, Blacks constructed two Black regiments, 4th Infantry Regular 9th and 10th Calvary, and 38th, 39th, 41st, Infantry. (One fifth of all cavalries were Black) Generally White officers were in charge of the Black units, he says. A Black soldier had to go to a certain section of town, except in Ft. Clark, Texas, Lt. Bly says. Present day soldiers have the carpet laid out for them, because of the increased interest in Black soldiers' history. Twenty percent of the officers are Black in the service now he says. Leavenworth had more Black Officers than anywhere in the United States.

The 9th Calvary had more engagements than the 10th Calvary; however, they were less publicized. Battle of Wounded Knee, when 9th Calvary came to the rescue of 7th Calvary under General George Farsith, Lt. Bly relates. There is a problem in the reestablishing relationships of soldiers to civilian life. Movie made here in Kansas City called "Soul Soldier" was one recall of the Buffalo Soldier, he says, starring Caesar Romero. Training soldiers in Ft. Clark, Texas, 27th Calvary was one of Lt. Bly's favorite stories at reunion.
Access This ItemYou may come to the Missouri Valley Room to listen to the interview.
Item ID210267
CONTENTdm number36313
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