“Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts” from Director Dru Holley at the Tacoma Film Festival

In 1866, six all-Black cavalry and infantry regiments were created after congress passed the Army Organization Act. They came to be known as Buffalo Soldiers.

Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts explores the often-contradictory role played by the Black soldiers throughout American history, emphasizing the settling of the American West and colonialism abroad.

Director Dru Holley is a Vancouver, WA-based filmmaker, and the documentary features interviews with Quintard Taylor (Ph.D. Historian at UW), Ryan Booth (Ph.D. Candidate, WSU), and members of the Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle (based in Roy, WA), among many others.

Representatives of the Tacoma Buffalo Soldiers Museum will attend the screening and participate in a Q&A.

Tacoma Premiere at The Blue Mouse, the director will be in attendance. Saturday, October 8 at 1:00pm.

About: 59 minutes | Dir. Dru Holley | Not Rated

Watch the official trailer for Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts here.

Established by Congress in 1867, many African American men enlisted in exchange for full citizenship as promised by the 14th Amendment, but still were denied this right by the Jim Crow laws established in the Reconstructionist South. Despite that, these patriotic men helped lead the United States expansion westward; they built and guarded the Pacific Railroad and served as park rangers in places like Yosemite before the U.S. government established the National Park Service.

These African American soldiers fought bravely in the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, the Mexican Punitive Expedition, World War I & World War II, but the Buffalo Soldiers also participated in the subjugation of Native peoples as the United States appropriated tribal land, the persecution of striking silver miners in Idaho, and against Filipinos fighting for independence during the Spanish-American War, resulting in a complicated legacy.

It is particularly relevant today as our country is roiling with the agony of racial strife. By combining many diverse perspectives, the film examines the profound and often-contradictory roles played in American history by The Buffalo Soldiers and how they fought on two very different sets of front lines: military conflicts abroad and civil rights struggles at home.

About Dru Holley, Director/ Producer:

Dru Holley is a director and producer who is passionate about producing inspiring stories that empower viewers to re-think broken systems. Dru is motivated to highlight the stories of marginalized groups whose experiences can help shape conversation for solutions and illuminate the truth of the past.

Dru graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado, where he specialized in video broadcasting. Dru was selected by Stanley Nelson, the iconic African American filmmaker, for the prestigious 2020 Firelight Documentary Lab Fellowship, Black Public Media 360 Incubator, and 2022 Better Angels Levine fellowship.

He recently collaborated on the development of four short-form episodes on the past, present, and future of the Albina Vision Project in Oregon, and is now in pre-pre-production on the documentary, Exonerated. Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts is his feature directorial debut.

– Smarthouse Creative