RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed portrays Johanna July, a black Seminole who served as a scout and translator, at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, February 9, at the Allen Public Library. The program is free. Johanna July was born in Nacimiento de Los Negros, the settlement established in Northern Mexico following the emigration of Indian and black Seminoles from Indian Territory. During the 1870s, the U.S. Army desperately needed translators and scouts who were familiar with the border country. To achieve this, they convinced Black Seminoles to come to Eagle Pass, Texas. After moving here, Johanna July learned to tame horses and herd the family’s goats and cattle.
With the death of her father, she worked the stock as well as tamed wild horses for the U.S. Army and area ranchers. She died shortly after World War II ended and is buried in the Brackettville Seminole Cemetery.
RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed is president of the Texas Buffalo Association, dedicated to preserving Texas history and the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers. A recipient of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for “Outstanding Public Service Benefiting Communities,” Reed continues to educate people about the history and heritage of Cowboys and Cowgirls of Color.
Presenting for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the National Cowboys of Color Museum, Panhandle Plains Museum and the George Bush Memorial Library, Reed specializes in presentations about Cathay Williams as well as Stage Coach Mary Fields, the first African-American woman to work for the U.S. Postal Service.
The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for more information.