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Acter, Musician Discusses History of Buffalo Soldiers at Pioneer (February, 2008)

Clifton FiferOn Thursday, February 21, 2008, in honor of Black History Month, students at Pioneer Heritage Middle School were treated with a special presentation by Clifton Fifer of Kerrville, Texas, concerning the role of the Buffalo Soldiers in U. S. and Texas history. Fifer has taught for over 30 years in Kerrville ISD. His passion for Texas stories and customs is evident in his informative and realistic presentations of life as a black soldier, cowboy, and Native American. Entwined with Native American and African American folklore, Fifer’s stories make history come to life for middle school students and students of all ages. He frequently travels to schools and public gatherings throughout the state sharing his stories, poetry, and music with audiences of all ages. Fifer also includes performances on Harmonica and Siyotanka – a Native American Flute. One PHMS 7th grade student stated that he hoped one day he could play the flute as lovely as Fifer, according to Cindy Bryant, PHMS history teacher..

Mr. Fifer has been honored with teaching awards such as the Region 20 Teacher of the Year award in 2005, the Mirabeau B. Lamar Texas history Award for excellence in teaching Texas history in 2003, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Teacher of the Year for 2000-2001, and the Kerrville Daily Times Golden Apple Teaching Award.

In addition to his teaching awards, Fifer has won rave reviews as an actor and musician. In December 2001 he won the Earnest T. Player Award for Best Actor in a Drama for his role as Hoke, the driver, in the Playhouse 2000 staging of Driving Miss Daisy. For his performance as Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird for Playhouse 2000 he won his second Earnest T. Player Award as Supporting Actor in a Drama. He has also starred recently in Big River where his gorgeous voice as Jim won critical raves and captured the hearts of many audience members.

Past public performances include Buffalo Soldiers re-enactments in Austin, guest lecturer in Kerrville Independent School District classes, performing at Native American Weddings, participating in Living History Day at Schreiner University in Kerrville, presenting stories and poems at Outdoor Education Programs for several Texas school districts, recreating life-like stories at the Cowboy Artists Museum programs in Kerrville, participating in the Cowboy of Color Rodeo tour, and re-enacting events at the LBJ National Historical Park Pioneer Days.

In addition to Black Cowboy Poetry, Fifer does programs on Native American stories, arts and crafts, and Texas history, which includes many artifacts and time period pieces.

Fifer will be returning to FISD on May 8 and 9 to speak to Pioneer Heritage Middle School and Fowler Middle School 7th graders for their Western Heritage Days. Persons interested in contacting Fifer for programs may do so at Seven-Thunders(a)