The American Legion, Jesse Clipper Post No. 430, installed officers on April 26, marking what newly elected Commander Paulette Woods described as “a new generation in leadership.”
“The torch has passed to a new generation in the leadership of the Jesse Clipper Post#430 and with the guidance of our elders we will do even greater things to benefit veterans,” stated Elder Woods. “I am grateful for the confidence my fellow officers and veterans have placed in me as commander.”
The installation was conducted byBishop Marion Richey, Pastor of the DAYSPRING Church of God of Prophecy. The newly installed officers include: WWI Coordinator Papa Paul Woods, 3rd Vice Commander Kanasha Blue, Commander Elder Paulette Woods, Adjutant Annette Christian, Chaplain/1st Vice Commander Howard Patton; Past Commander Rev. Eugene L. Pierce, Finance Officer Frederick Eckles, 2nd Vice Commander Richard Hill, Sergeant-at-Arms Perry Civils, Immediate Past Commander Chaplain Henry W. Curtis III ; Service Officer Sam Feaster; Judge Advocate Felton Davis, Honor Guard Coordinator Samuel “Matt” Matthews; andHistorian George K. Arthur.
Jesse Clipper, a young Buffalo musician and private with the 317th Engineer Battalion, died Feb. 21, 1919. He is buried in Oise-Aisne, an American military cemetery in France.
He was the first African-American soldier from Buffalo to die in the war .
Clipper was one of nearly 380,000 African-Americans to fight in segregated units during World War I. Before he joined the service, Clipper was vice president of Local 533 of the American Federation of Musicians, which was founded in 1917. A year later its members formed a social club, the Colored Musicians Club.
Seven months after his death, 15 African-American veterans founded Jesse Clipper Post 430, American Legion. Today he is honored with a park and monument on Michigan and William Street and an American