“We’ve Been Here All Along, Doing It With Style”: The Lesser-Known History of the Black Cowboy
2020, JUN. 5
On Tuesday, thousands of protesters marched downtown Houston, demanding justice for the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other black Americans who have been victims of police brutality in the country.
How Black Cowboys Built the American West: A Living History
2020, JUN. 5
Messy Nessy Chic
You may hear it, before you see it. The gentle trotting of hooves backdropped by the sounds of New York City’s JFK Expressway. Even locals do a double take when they cross paths with a member of the Federation of Black Cowboys. When they ride, they tell the true story of the Wild, Wild West: that it was built by Black cowboys. In fact, an estimated one in three cowboys was a person of colour in the 19th century. It’s an often unsung legacy, and one that lives in big city Black cowboy clubs, working Black ranches, and luxury label-featured organisations and entertainers. But what did it really mean to be a cowboy in 1890? What about today? We spoke with Ron Tarver and John Ferguson, two photographers who have spent extensive time in Black cowboy communities – either growing up in them, or gravitating towards them from across the Atlantic – to document their story. Spur up, folks.
Black Cowboys Busting One of America's Defining Myths
2017, JAN 22
The New Yorker
According to scholars, one in four cowboys working in Texas during the golden age of westward expansion was black; many others were Mexican, mestizo, or Native American—a far more diverse group than Hollywood stereotypes of the cowboy would suggest. Bass Reeves, a black lawman who had a Native American sidekick, is thought to have served as a model for the Lone Ranger. Britt Johnson, a black cowboy whose wife and children were captured by Comanches, in 1865, partly inspired John Ford’s classic film “The Searchers,” almost a century later. In the wake of the Civil War, the African-American Buffalo Soldiers were dispatched by Congress to protect Western settlers and federal land.
People tend to find something recognizable in the celestial. The signs of the zodiac are among the oldest examples. Images captured by the Hubble space telescope account for some of the most recent. We assign to the latter titles such as “Eye of God,” “Hourglass Nebula” and “Cat’s Eye Nebula” -- we describe what is difficult to grasp by using terms that bring the heavens down to Earth.
Art/Place Gallery presents “Havana, A Place Out of Time,” a photographic journey by Ron Tarver, the gallery’s invited artist of 2006. The January show is the first time Art/Place has reached beyond Connecticut for their guest exhibit.
For Fort Gibson native Ron Tarver, each click of his camera’s shutter tells a story without a word being spoken. Tarver, a photographer for the Philadelphia Inquirer for more than 20 years, is returning to Fort Gibson this week for an event honoring him and the book he brought to life with pictures -- “We Were There, Voices of African American Veterans, from World War II to the War in Iraq.”