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Texas state park rangers debuting virtual Black History Month series

Programs will feature segments on living history with the Buffalo Soldiers, outdoor education with park rangers, on-site tours and storytelling.
Credit: AP: LM Otero
Riders portray "Buffalo Soldiers," during a Veterans Day parade in downtown Dallas, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. Buffalo Soldiers were members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed in 1866. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The video published above is about a former UT football player dedicating his life to Black history education policy, anti-racism policy and human rights policy. 

Texas park rangers from all across the Lone Star State, including the Buffalo Soldier Heritage Outreach Program and others, are debuting a virtual series celebrating Black History Month. 

During the month-long online program, Texans are encouraged to learn more about the contributions and achievements of Black Americans in conservation, the great outdoors, and within Texas' parks through a series of programs to be broadcasted live at 6 p.m. on select weekdays from the Buffalo Soldier Heritage Outreach Program Facebook page.

“Black history is really everyone’s history, and our rangers want to support Black History Month by bringing more diverse stories to the forefront of Texas State Parks for our visitors,” said Jessica Lagalo, outdoor education and outreach manager for Texas State Parks. “The awareness that African Americans were some of the first Park Rangers, the first Forest Firefighters, the first Mountain Bikers is so incredibly relevant to the history and stewardship of Texas State Parks. Without the efforts of Black Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Companies, much of the infrastructure of Texas State Parks would not be here today.” 

RELATED: Black History Month: Highlighting local leaders in the Austin area

Saturday programs will be live-streamed at 1 p.m. from various Texas State Parks, including Ray Roberts Lake State Park, Cedar Hill State Park, Brazos Bend State Park and Tyler State Park, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD). 

Programs will feature segments on living history with the Buffalo Soldiers, outdoor education with park rangers, on-site tours and storytelling, including: 

  • The Iron Riders: Blazing A Trail for Modern Mountain Bikers
  • A State Park is Born: The CCC at Huntsville State Park
  • Spotlight on Black Stories: Anansi the Spider
  • Spotlight on Black Stories: Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman
  • Knowledge is Power: Educating Black Soldiers Post Civil War
  • The Legacy of the CCC in Texas State Parks, Part 1
  • The Legacy of the CCC in Texas State Parks, Part 2
  • Leading the Charge: Buffalo Soldiers Tales
  • Stewards of Yosemite: The First Black Park Rangers
  • A Modern Trailblazer: Thru-Hiker Robert Taylor and Backpacking 101 
  • Tragedy to Triumph: A Texas History of the Black Seminole Scouts
  • Medal of Honor: The Bravest African Americans
  • The Legend of Juneteenth at Galveston Island State Park
  • Courage Has No Color: Black Firefighters and the Big Burn

Then, at 6 p.m. on Feb. 26, anyone may participate in a free live Black History Month trivia challenge on the Kahoot app. Instructions to sign up for the trivia challenge will be posted on the Buffalo Soldier’s Facebook page. 

You can find a full calendar of the upcoming programs online or on the Buffalo Soldier Heritage Outreach Program Facebook page

For Black History Month, every day KVUE is highlighting a local leader making a difference in our community. Check out our updating story highlighting local Black leaders here.

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