I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Allen Mack, Founder of The Living History Foundation during my recent visit to the San Jacinto Day Festival. Mr. Mack, there on behalf of the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Buffalo Soldiers Heritage and Outreach Department. What a master storyteller, effortlessly holding the interest of the festival visitor’s attention by staying in character as a Buffalo Soldier back in that time period. Mr. Mack managed to teach us so much about the Buffalo Soldiers history and lives in a fun and engaging manner – obviously, I became quite interested!
Photo: Mr. Allen Mack
In to speaking more with Mr. Mack, I discovered his passion for history and his creation of The Living History Foundation. The goal of the foundation “is to inspire children and adults alike to learn about the accomplishments people of color made in the building of this great nation.”
“Our history is a mixture of many things with ancestors who did things right and those who made mistakes just as we do today. We should be proud of who we are, proud of the ancestors we descended from and the heritage we have to pass on to our children and their children. One by one, our grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters and friends are moving out of our lives, they take with them the very history and knowledge we seek to preserve. We believe there is nothing more important than to approach history with a purpose and portray it as true and close to real life as possible. Without your support none of this would be possible; our sincerest hope is that you see the value in what we do and join us in representing those people and times who came before us. To find out how you can help make a difference by either volunteering or make a donation contact the Living History Foundation at (512) 578-6267.”
(Source: The Living History Foundation – Facebook@livinghistoryfoundation)
Photo: Nina Simone (Left), Leon Spinks (Right) Source: Facebook@livinghistoryfoundaton
Mr. Mack will teach you things about all kinds of people from Nina Simone and her autobiography quote of “If I had to be called something, it should have been a folk singer because there was more folk and blues than jazz in my playing” – to Leon Spinks, the Light Heavyweight Olympic Gold medal winner of the 1976 Olympics – to the history of the Buffalo Soldiers.
Photo: Mr. Allen Mack, (Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Buffalo Soldiers Heritage and Outreach Department) during The San Jacinto Day Festival and Reenactment
I asked Mr. Mack if he would be kind enough to answer a few questions…
Houston Photo Journey: I really loved your various demonstrations of how coffee would have been made back then and other stories and appreciated how you stayed in character depicting life as a Buffalo Soldier. What led to your involvement with The Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Buffalo Soldiers Heritage and Outreach Department and The Living History Foundation?
Mr. Mack: When in school I liked history but I didn’t love history, I couldn’t relate because when I looked in the history book to a larger extent, I didn’t see people like me in it. And once I found out we did play a big part in the founding of this country and world, it opened a flood gate, I wanted to know more. Now I just want to share what I have learned with whoever will listen.
Houston Photo Journey: What influenced your decision to begin The Living History Foundation and what are your hopes for its future?
Mr. Mack: I believe everyone has a calling and when I look back at what I have done in my life it has been leading me to this point. I founded this origination to inspire our youth and the young at heart to start to think about themselves and the world differently.
I end most of my programs with this, “what I see when I’m standing in front of a group of students are Buffalo Soldiers and it doesn’t matter if you are black or if you are male. What I see are young Buffalo Soldiers looking at where they can be (standing where I am) 10 to 15 years from now talking to the next group of young Buffalo Soldiers telling them where they can be (standing where I am) 10 to 15 years from them.”
None of this will happen without your support, between Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Living History Foundation we have close to a hundred programs scheduled for this year. All we ask is help however you can, contact me at 512 578-6267 or firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/livinghistoryfoundation.
Houston Photo Journey: Would you like to add anything else?
Mr. Mack: We are also in the process of forming an Honor Guard to honor our fallen veterans, follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/lhfhonorguard. Keep an eye out our website will be up soon.
Preparing the Child. . .Preserving a Legacy
The Living History Foundation.
Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read – hope you enjoyed learning about some of the interesting people you’ll always meet in the Houston area!
Elizabeth and Max (Max wanted to share his soldier picture)