My time as an intern at the BSNM is quite an eye-opening experience. While I have a limited background in military history, I lacked knowledge on the subject matters at the BSNM. The Buffalo Soldiers and even African American soldiers were never a subject matter in any of my history courses in school. Interning at BSNM would allow me to broaden my perspective and understanding of United States military history with a focus on the African American experience.
I work with a program called Past Perfect for BSNM. The program is supposed to contain the entire catalog of artifacts and documents found at the museum. But there is no way I can do it all by myself. The museum staff has been essential in helping me learn about the artifacts and records of the museum. I rely on what I learned at the museum to create better-detailed records on the artifacts. They give me context to artifacts that I can relay into Past Perfect. It is a great honor to listen to the veterans who call this museum home talk about the artifacts. Their stories allow me to archive artifacts for the museum, hence the role of an archival intern.
Working with artifacts at the museum has been something entirely different than what I expected. Thought-provoking would be the two words I would say to describe my time learning at the museum. The history and the significance of some of the artifacts I have worked with really put into perspective just how critical military service is to a nation. Based on what I have learned at the BSNM, military service for African Americans was an essential milestone that defined them as legitimate United States citizens. Amazingly, African Americans volunteered their services to protect and serve a nation that oppressed them. It is no wonder that they are deserving of the name Buffalo Soldier.