HISTORY OF THE BUFFALO SOLDIERS & TROOPERS MOTORCYCLE CLUB
Believing that it was time to establish a modern progressive motorcycle club whose focus was to promote a positive image among African Americans that would be respected in the community and throughout the country, Thomas founded the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Chicago in October 1993. The name Buffalo Soldiers was initially selected to pay homage to and ensure the legacy of African American military contributions in the post Civil War era. Under the leadership of Ken Thomas, the new club was chartered as the Buffalo Troopers Motorcycle Club of Chicago.
Membership in the club grew to a total of ninety-two (92) during that first year, making it the largest African American motorcycle club in Chicago, IL. The clubhouse was located at 8510 South Ashland Avenue. The clubhouse displayed many items dedicated to the history and memory of the Buffalo Soldiers such as pictures, books, statues, and an authentic buffalo head donated by member Ernie Daurham. In 1996, the club moved from this location to its current location at 13836 South Indiana Avenue, in Riverdale, Illinois. The club’s popularity grew as members attended the national roundups and rallies held in various cities in the country. This popularity transformed into interest of other clubs in affiliation with the Buffalo Troopers M/C of Chicago, Illinois.
Then, Brian Bulow, a former President of the Maryland Chapter, and now a former Vice President of the NABSTMC saw the Chicago Buffalo Troopers at the Atlanta Roundup and displayed an interest in starting a chapter. That interest resulted in the first chapter to wear the “patch” outside of Chicago, Illinois. Soon afterwards, others showed an interest and started chapters, the next five being Florida, Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey and California.
In 1999 “Dream-Maker” and the presidents of the five other independent chapters, Brian Bulow, Carl “Road-Dog” Laury, “AJ” Hill, Brian Gillis and “TC” Costley began discussions on forming a National Organization. They met in a large rented tent in Greenville, South Carolina at the site of the 1999 Black Bikers National Round-Up. During that meeting, the formation of the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers & Troopers Motorcycle Club was approved and the officers were selected by the members of the chapters in attendance. Ken “Dream-Maker” Thomas became the National Organization’s first President and all the members wore the patch that was originally designed by the Chicago, Illinois chapter.
The NABSTMC, now with over 100 chapters, is an active participant in numerous charitable functions including supporting senior citizen homes, student scholarships and food and fund drives for charitable organizations, i.e. The March of Dimes and Toys for Tots. The NABSTMC has also taken the responsibility of mentors to area youth and educational programs, which share enlightenment of the heritage that African-Americans have played in the United States. We are also actively involved in recognizing the accomplishments and sacrifices of the Tuskegee Airmen. NABSTMC encourage a positive image and behavior of our members and affiliates. We believe that we are role models and share a responsibility and a positive value system to our respective communities. The member chapters do not discriminate against race, religion, gender or ethnic origin. The majority of our organization is comprised of minority members who accept those who share our values and support our cause.