Were there any black cowboys?

Of course there were. On BBC news I found an interesting article by a young journalist, author and broadcaster Sarfraz Manzoor:

America’s forgotten black cowboys

Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-winning Western, Django Unchained, is one of relatively few Hollywood films depicting a black cowboy. In reality there were many, some of whose stories were borrowed for films starring white actors. The most common image of the cowboy is a gun-toting, boot-wearing, white man – like John Wayne, or Clint Eastwood. But the Hollywood portrayal of the Wild West is a whitewashed version of the reality. It is thought that about a quarter of all cowboys were black. Like many people, Jim Austin – a college-educated, 45-year-old businessman – hadn’t heard about the black presence in the Old West. The discovery inspired him and his wife Gloria to set up the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. It pays tribute to some of the forgotten black cowboys – men like Bill Pickett, a champion rodeo rider who invented bulldogging, a technique where he would jump from a horse on to a steer and take the animal down by biting on its lip.

_66532552_cowboyhat”The kids who are learning history in our schools are not being told the truth about they way the West was,” says Austin. ”I bet you nine out of 10 people in this country think that cowboys were all white – as I did.” In the real Old West, as opposed to the film depiction, black cowboys were a common sight.

Vincent Jacobs, now 80, battled racism as a rodeo rider in the 1950s

Permission to use the picture granted by the photographer.

Read more on www.bbc.co.uk

If we don´t know and learn from our history we can´t cope with the future.    

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