There's room for all races in national parks

A Buffalo Soldier with the 9th Cavalary.

As a National Park interpretive ranger, Shelton Johnson is dedicated to connecting people of all races and backgrounds to the parks and nature.

Still, he rarely sees other African-Americans in Yosemite, where he is the sole African-American ranger.

Today Johnson published the essay "National parks have room for all races" on

It's a simple enough message — all are welcome to enjoy these amazing places — but the cultural reality is more complex. Many minority groups are even more disassociated from nature than the average disassociated American.

Even Oprah Winfrey had never visited a national park until she and BFF Gayle King recently toured Yosemite for Oprah and Gayle’s Big Yosemite Camping Adventure (part 1 aired today, sorry for the late notice; part 2 airs November 3rd).

Johnson, whom you may recall from the Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea, introduced the TV duo to Yosemite for the show.

If you can't make it to Yosemite for a personal tour, and don't watch Oprah, listen to the National Parks Conservation Association's podcast "Tour Yosemite with a Buffalo Soldier" for an historical audio tour with Johnson. Buffalo Soldiers, African-American men serving with the Ninth Cavalry, protected Yosemite and other parks as some of the very first park rangers in the early 1900s.

For bibliophiles, Johnson is also the author of Gloryland, a novel about the real-life Buffalo Soldiers.

Read "National parks have room for all races"

Filed under: People & Organizations


0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
October 30, 2010 at 3:44 a.m. (EDT)

Keep telling that history:

Read the novel, Rescue at Pine Ridge, where Buffalo Bill Cody meets a Buffalo Soldier.  A great story of Black military history...the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers.  Five stars Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the youtube trailer commercial...and visit the website

How do you keep a people down?  ‘Never' let them 'know' their history.

The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn't for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry.

I know you’ll enjoy the novel. I wrote the story that embodied the Native Americans, Outlaws and African-American/Black soldiers, from the south to the north, in the days of the Native American Wars with the approaching United States of America.  This story is about, brutality, compassion, reprisal, bravery, heroism and gallantry.  Read the novel, Rescue at Pine Ridge, the story of the rescue of the famed 7th Cavalry by the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers.

The novel was taken from my mini-series movie of the same title, “RaPR” to keep my story alive. Hollywood has had a lot of strikes and doesn’t like telling our stories…its been “his-story” of history all along…until now. The movie so far has attached, Bill Duke directing, Hill Harper, Glynn Turman, James Whitmore Jr. and a host of other major actors in which we are in talks with…see at;

When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for Wells Fargo in Montana, in the 1890's, “spread the word”.



848 reviewer rep
3,898 forum posts
November 1, 2010 at 9:27 a.m. (EDT)

Welcome to Trailspace, BuffaloSoldier9.

I'm glad you found the blog interesting. I agree that there are many interesting stories and histories of which we're unaware. Personally, I enjoy learning about those lesser known histories and having a better understanding.

Thanks for sharing the info above.

Good luck with your projects.

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