Black history museum to host annual festival Saturday

Black History Museum Hosts Annual Festival This Saturday

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - The Jack Hadley Black History Museum is having its annual festival this weekend.

The Buffalo Soldiers are set to attend along with first responders in Thomasville.

Kenneth Whitaker is president and founder of the Thomasville Buffalo Soldiers. He said they’re mainly a community-based organization.

Kenneth Whitaker, the president of the Thomasville Buffalo Soldiers
Kenneth Whitaker, the president of the Thomasville Buffalo Soldiers (Source: WALB)

“We’re really big on education. We give scholarships to youth going to college annually, tutorial programs for after school, we sponsor kids that can’t afford to go on field trips,” Whitaker explained.

The Buffalo Soldiers started back in 1866. They were the first black regiment allowed to serve in the U.S.

However, Whitaker said their organization isn’t only made up of men.

“There’s also a lady, and a lot of people aren’t familiar with the lady. Her name was Cathy Williams. She had to disguise herself as a man in order to join,” said Whitaker.

Henry O. Flipper, a Thomasville native, was the first African American to graduate from West Point.

Jack Hadley, Owner of the Jack Hadley History Museum, said carrying on Flipper’s legacy is the reason they have this festival every February.

James “Jack” Hadley, owner of the Jack Hadley History Museum
James “Jack” Hadley, owner of the Jack Hadley History Museum (Source: WALB)

“True purpose behind it really is to show our young kids, let them know that the Buffalo Soldiers, as well as the Tuskegee Airman, that these people gave their lives. They fought hard to help save America, to save a foreign country that they fought in,” explained Hadley.

Hadley said they have around 400 people come out to the event each year.

“The last three or four years, we have our presentation in our Bells Library, and it be packed out. That day, we also allow the people to visit the museum for free,” said Hadley.

Hadley said the Thomasville Police Department will grill and provide food while Flower’s Bakery will also provide sweets.

“It’s a lot of history with the Buffalo soldiers. It feels real good being able to carry on that legacy. That’s most important," said Whitaker.

The event will be this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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