Organization Name:United States Black Cavalry Family Inc
Motto: We honor all who serve Country and Community
Our Inspiration: “The Black Family Pledge”
by Maya Angelou
THE BLACK FAMILY PLEDGE
BECAUSE we have forgotten our ancestors, our children no longer give us honor.
BECAUSE we have lost the path our ancestors cleared kneeling in perilous undergrowth, our children cannot find their way.
BECAUSE we have banished the God of our ancestors, our children cannot pray.
BECAUSE the old wails of our ancestors have faded beyond our hearing, our children cannot hear us crying.
BECAUSE we have abandoned our wisdom of mothering and fathering, our befuddled children give birth to children they neither want nor understand.
BECAUSE we have forgotten how to love, the adversary is within our gates, and holds us up to the mirror of the world shouting,
"Regard the loveless"
Therefore we pledge to bind ourselves to one another, to embrace our lowliest, to keep company with our loneliest, to educate our illiterate, to feed our starving, to clothe our ragged, to do all good things, knowing that we are more than keepers of our brothers and sisters.
We ARE our brothers and sisters.
IN HONOR of those who toiled and implored God with golden tongues, and in gratitude to the same God who brought us out of hopeless desolation, we make this pledge.
Our Pledge: To follow the “Black Family Pledge” written by Maya Angelou
“Therefore we pledge to bind ourselves to one another, to embrace our lowliest, to keep company with our loneliest, to educate our illiterate, to feed our starving, to clothe our ragged, to do all good things, knowing that we are more than keepers of our brothers and sisters.
We ARE our brothers and sisters.”
How we will be structured: The organization will have at its head the founders of the United States Black Cavalry Family, Thomas “TC” Costley & Janise “Sunny” Emanuel-Costley.
Chapter: The term “Chapter” will not be used in the structuring of the organization
Family: The term “Family” will be used for all units established under the USBCF. For example, if a unit is formed in Charleston, WV it would be known as the Charleston, WV Family
Family make up: Families will consist of no more than 20 members. It is suggested that you surround yourselves with family, close friends, or people that you know for certain share your same values and commitment to community service. Additionally you want members that share your desire for traveling and your love for fun and memorable times. We strongly suggest that as many of your members as possible be couples. However they do not have to be officially married. All Family members do not have to own bikes or be licensed to ride. We welcome and encourage the membership of other than bikers. However every effort should be made to maintain a majority of licensed riders over non-riders in each family because riding will be a part of what we do. The family will be led by the Family President and his/her Executive Board consisting of the Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Road Captain/Safety Officer and Sgt-at-Arms. President, VP, and Road Captain must be licensed bikers. It is our belief that large numbers don’t necessarily mean great success. We want families whose members all feel that they play an important role in the success of the family. We think that this can be accomplished by keeping our numbers at no more than 20. (Waivers to exceed the 20 member family limit may be considered if all members in the family agree to the request)
Foot Soldiers: Foot Soldiers will be the term used for members of the organization that do not own or ride motorcycles. They will be given the same respect and have the same rights as all other Family members including the right to vote on any and all issues affecting the Family. The term “Foot Soldier” will be displayed on the name tag of all members that fall into that category. Foot Soldiers will be allowed and encouraged to drive their four wheeled vehicles of choice to any event to represent the USBCF.
Creating a Family: The creation of a USBCF unit must be approved by the organization's founders or designated representatives. At least three (3) couples are required to be considered a Family. However, only two (2) individuals or (1 couple) is required to request permission to begin forming a Family in the USBCF. If approved by the organization's founders or their designated representatives the two approved individuals would be responsible for selecting the remaining couples or members that form the Family. (Remember three (3) couples are required to be declared a Family) A Family can not carry more than 20 members. If an established Family reaches it's quota of 20 and is approached by others to join, the established Family will encourage the interested individuals to petition the USBCF for the creation of another Family. There will be no limits on mileage between Families. However some common sense should come into play so please do not attempt to form families on the same street or in the same neighborhood. We want Families to consist of friends but we also want them to be open to new friendships. Families formed in the same area, location, town or city may distinguish themselves by using terms such as “North, South, East, or West”. For example if the first Family is formed in Charleston, WV, the 2nd Family in that area could be “West Charleston”, or “South Charleston” etc. or the official name of your neighborhood.
Membership without a Family: Individuals may join the organization as independent members but must become a part of a family or agree to start a “Family” within 6 months. This simply means that if a person is interested in applying for membership but does not want to be the person or couple to head or form the family, then they can still apply to be an independent member. If accepted they will be presented “colors” but must find a “Family” to join within 6 months or be required to start a “Family” of their own.
Family Meetings: Family meetings will be conducted twice a quarter (8 times a year) on dates and times determined by the individual Families. For the purpose of organizational history, minutes from each meeting will be sent to the USBCF founders.
USBCF Uniforms: Members of the USBCF will be known for their sharp appearance in uniform. The uniform colors for the USBCF will be Tan, Black and Blue. Family members, “foot soldiers” & “riders”, may wear any combination of the uniform colors. For example: Black Pants, and Tan Shirt or Tan Pants and Black Shirt or Blue Shirt with either Black or Tan Pants. A Black or Tan Cavalry Hat may be worn with all combinations of uniforms. A Black Beret with the USBCF insignia may also be worn. Additionally a yellow ascot may be worn with any combination of uniform. A black vest with the organization’s colors on the back may be worn with any combination of our uniform. However our Dress Uniform will consist of a a black jacke with the colors on the back and the stripes on the sleeves. Pictures/examples of our uniforms will be available for your viewing on our website.
Points of Contact:
Thomas “TC” Costley
609-735-0667 or 609-351-0453
Family Philosophy: Sunny and I want this organization to be based on fun, not on a lot of rules, regulations, politics and attitudes. We want members to ride because they feel like riding, not because they are obligated to ride. We fully understand that as we get older we have more responsibilities both at our jobs and often at home. We also realize that as we get older we often involve ourselves more with activities and organizations within our communities. We don’t want this organization to pull you away from things that you feel are truly important to you and your biological family. If you are an individual that has difficulty getting along with others or doesn’t enjoy the thrill of helping those less fortunate than you, then this is definitely not the organization for you. With that said, we do have a few basic rules that all members must follow
Always wear your colors when you ride representing the USBCF.
Make as many of the family meetings as possible.
Try to do a good deed each time you ride, either as a group or individually. Document that deed.
Reach out to your community to see where you can help as a volunteer.
Read, understand and follow the intent of the pledge from Maya Angelou’s poem “The Black Family Pledge”.
Always represent your organization with pride.
If you must leave the organization, return your “patch” a.k.a. “colors” to the organizations founders
Community Service: It is not the intent of this organization to raise a lot of money. Instead we would like to be known for our community involvement and service. There are hundreds of things that we can do to make a difference to a family in need, or to a homeless shelter, battered women’s shelter, orphanage, food pantry, church, youth center or school. We want to especially find ways to assist our veterans. Giving money isn’t always what is needed. Sometimes just a helping hand means more. We are not trying to discourage you from raising funds if that’s what you want your Family to do. We are only saying that it isn’t required. Nor is it required for you to have an annual event but you are certainly welcomed to do so independently or as a group of families. What we would like to see you do is to ride and to ride to places that you have never been before, and to enjoy each other’s company and to laugh and to find pleasure in doing good deeds for others and to feel good about being a part of a growing family that is based simply on making a difference. We also encourage you to support other organizations in your communities that are also trying to help those in need.
Calendar of Events & Riding Schedule: Each family will submit their riding schedule to be included in the national calendar. We encourage shared participation and hope our joint efforts will benefit the community at large.
USBCF Website:A USBCF website will be created for public dissemination of information. Each Family, along with their respective contact information will be posted to the main site. The infancies of this site will be to promote camaraderie, rider safety, education and community service. A Community Family Calendar will be maintained. Highlight from family events and accomplishments will be posted to this site. We hope each family will also maintain a small website which features local events and community efforts.
USBCF Dues: A onetime fee of $100.00 must be submitted with each couples’ application. Single applicants must submit $50.00 with their application. This money will be placed in a banking account and will be used if necessary to support our Emergency Fund to purchase flowers or to provide immediate assistance to any of our members that may be in serious need.
Annual dues are $15.00 a year due during the 1st month of the year. Dues will be used to maintain the website. Any funds over and above that amount will go into the emergency fund. Members will be advised of any money removed from the emergency fund and the reason for the removal.
Family Meeting dues, if any, will be determined by the individual Families. It is suggested that the Family meeting dues be no more than $10.00 per meeting. This money is to be used at the discretion of the individual Family.
Colors: An example of the United States Black Cavalry Colors is displayed at the end of this correspondence. Please note that NO TOWN, CITY or STATE is displayed on the colors. The colors will be in three parts (pieces). The main patch will contain a black soldier on horseback carrying a flag. The soldier, horse and flag are surrounded by gold military rank. Within the top stripe of the military rank are the words UNITED STATES. In the bottom stripe are the words BLACK CAVALRY. This is all one piece and will serve as our “Probie Colors” or “Probie Patch”.
After one year of satisfactory service with the Family or at the discretion of the Family Executive Board, “Probies” will be eligible for promotion to Full Colors Status and given the two remaining parts of the organizations “Colors”. These parts will consist of two (2) additional stripes (sewn together as one piece) on top of the original patch and one (1) additional stripe on the bottom of the original patch. Within the bottom stripe will be the words “WE HONOR ALL WHO SERVE”.
Price for full set of colors: A full set of colors will cost $150.00 and will contain:
1. The three (3) piece Full Member Patch
2. One (1) nametag patch
3. Two (2) sleeve patches (that may be worn on a short/long sleeve shirt or on your dress jacket.
Patches may also be purchased individually. Prices for these patches may vary depending on the number that we purchase at any given time but generally they may be purchased at the prices listed below:
a. Large center patch – “Probie Patch” - $50.00
b. Top patch “Military Stripe” - $40.00
c. Bottom patch “Military stripe” - $25.00
d. Sleeve patch (Sold in pairs only) - $30.00
e. Name tag patch - $16.00
f. Family status tags (Rider, Foot Soldier, or Supporter) $3.50
g. Hat and beret patches are being made and will be available soon
Name Tag: A smaller version of our patch will be available for the front of our vest or jacket. Under this patch you may place your name, title, and description as a “Rider” or “Foot Soldier”.
The price of the name tag is: (To be determined)
There will also be a patch developed for your cavalry hat and beret.
The price of the hat patch is: (To be determined)
The price of the beret patch is: (To be determined)
The price of the Sleeve patches is: (To be determined)
Please see pictures of the individual patches on the website.
We appreciate your interest and welcome your questions and comments. Please see our contact information above.